On October 10 an Italian judge found former Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi and former AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini not guilty of international corruption, but convicted the pair for the lesser crime of “false invoicing” and sentenced them to two-year prison terms and fined each €1.5 million. The sentence is suspended pending an anticipated appeal.
AgustaWestland is preparing to make a big splash in the executive helicopter market when deliveries of its new AW169 medium twin begin next year. The company already claims a 65-percent world market share in recent years for twins with VIP and executive interiors and it is counting on the new helicopter to add to it.
Faced with a worsening security situation in Ukraine, Poland has issued a requirement for new attack helicopters that could be worth more than $1.3 billion. Meanwhile, however, the country’s choice of 72 new multirole helicopters worth nearly $2.7 billion remains undecided. Budget shortfalls continue to frustrate the armed forces’ desire for new equipment. Earlier this year, Poland decided to retain one squadron of aging Su-22 strike aircraft for up to 10 more years, since it cannot afford a replacement.
Although the Italian Prosecutor has discontinued investigations of alleged wrongdoings in the sale of 12 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters to India for VVIP transport, the fate of the aircraft remains unclear. AgustaWestland has agreed to pay a “negligible fine (which)…is not in any way an admission of any wrongdoing or liability,” said a statement from Finmeccanica, which further noted that the Prosecutor had “specifically acknowledged the non-involvement” of the parent company.
Rotorcraft manufacturer Enstrom received FAA certification to install the Garmin G1000H glass cockpit in its 480B helicopter, which will be known as the 480B-G.
AgustaWestland’s AW149 multi-role military helicopter received military certification on July 15 from the Italian Directorate of Air Armaments (Arma Aereo), following completion of trials with the country’s Reparto Sperimentale di Volo (RSV) test center at Pratica di Mare air base. According to AgustaWestland, operational tests are to begin shortly.
AgustaWestland, a division of Finmeccanica (Outdoor Exhibit 1), congratulated Waypoint Leasing here at the Farnborough Airshow 2014 on the rotor leasing firm’s first year of operation, which kicked off in March 2013 with an order for GrandNew, AW169, AW139 and AW189s from the OEM.
The companies have walked away from an agreement announced last year to partner on a new 5,000-pound helicopter. They continue to operate the HeliVert joint venture that produces AW139s for the Russian and CIS markets.
Italian helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland (Booth 6629) is showcasing an innovative VIP interior concept for its in-development AW169 at EBACE 2014, replete with artist renderings, color samples and a scaled-down mockup. The four-passenger interior concept features earth tones and swiveling seats with translucent shells. It was created by design firm Lanzavecchia + Wai for the “Flydeas for the City” contest sponsored by AgustaWestland and the contemporary design magazine Interni.
The Japan National Police Agency ordered another AgustaWestland AW139, the Italian helicopter manufacturer and its distributor Mitsui Bussan Aerospace announced at ABACE yesterday. The medium twin is scheduled to enter service next year for operations in Kagoshima Prefecture. More than 40 AgustaWestland helicopters are currently supporting law enforcement throughout various Japanese prefectures. According to AgustaWestland, Japan already uses the AW139 for critical missions such as search-and-rescue, firefighting and disaster relief.
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