AgustaWestland is acquiring Bell Helicopter’s 25-percent interest in the AB139 twin-turbine helicopter and increasing its stake in the Bell/Agusta BA609 tiltrotor. Consolidating the ownership of the AB139 will provide “increased sales and improved customer support,” according to AgustaWestland CEO Giuseppi Orsi. Bell Helicopter and AgustaWestland remain partners on the Model 412 and the U.S. Presidential fleet of US-101s.
Aviation International News » December 2005
One Thursday in January, Tim Slater, an assistant chief pilot for Oakland, Calif.-based KaiserAir, received a call from his dispatcher telling him he would have a trip for the weekend.
Manufacturers delivered 738 general aviation turbine airplanes in the first nine months of this year, some 28 percent more than the 577 delivered in the same period last year, according to data released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA).
Charter sales firm TAG Aviation USA launched its JetCard at the NBAA Convention last month. Though competitor programs typically offer a specific number of hours on a specific size aircraft, the TAG JetCard lets customers purchase charter service in increments of $100,000, $250,000 or $500,000 for use on any of seven jet categories via affiliate AMI Jet Charter or other TAG vendors.
Twin Commander Aircraft, the Arlington, Wash. firm that supports the Twin Commander fleet, has been purchased by Jim Matheson, who has taken over as president and CEO, replacing Jeff Cousins, who left the company. Matheson was general manager of Twin Commander Aircraft from 1993 to 1997, when he became group vice president of Twin Commander’s managing service company, Precision Aerospace Services.
Piaggio Avanti frax operator Avantair has a new owner–Alfred Rapetti–and in the middle of next year will relocate its headquarters from Caldwell, N.J. to Clearwater, Fla. The company originally opened the Florida facility this summer as a southeast maintenance and operations base. Avantair currently operates 21 Avantis and plans to double that number by the end of the year.
Premier Aircraft of East Alton, Ill., continues to work with Honeywell on an engine upgrade program for the Falcon 50 expected to be completed in the third quarter of next year, several months later than originally planned.
Avcon Industries’ RVSM package for Learjet 35s and 36s recently received certification and installations are under way. Meanwhile, the Olathe, Kan. company said that more than 125 installations have been completed since it received an STC early last year for its RVSM package for the Learjet 20 series.
Pilatus’ PC-12 turboprop single will receive several upgrades next year, raising the base price of the aircraft by $80,000 to $2.79 million and a typically equipped aircraft to $3.4 million. Mtow goes up to 10,450 pounds from 9,920 pounds for a 530-pound increase in useful load. New winglets will reduce drag and improve crosswind control, and Flettner tabs on the ailerons will reduce roll control forces, Pilatus said.
Following on the heels of several other OEMs, Bombardier Aerospace will build a component manufacturing facility in Mexico (in this case in Querétaro) that will begin operations in May, initially producing wiring harnesses but eventually having the capability for “final aircraft assembly.” Later next year the facility is scheduled to start manufacturing “major structural aircraft components” currently being built by Asian suppliers.