Development of AgustaWestland’s new A109S Grand is on schedule, with two test aircraft already achieving their performance targets, according to the Italian manufacturer. AgustaWestland has received deposits for more than 20 copies of the growth version of the A109 Power, with certification and first deliveries scheduled for the second half of next year.
Hickok & Associates of Orange Beach, Ala., has developed a network of 19 GPS approaches to hospitals in the Dallas/Fort Worth area for aeromedical operator CareFlite of Grand Prairie, Texas. Ray Dauphinais, vice president of operations for CareFlite, told AIN that Steve Hickok, president of Hickok & Associates, has submitted the approaches to the FAA and is hoping for approval before next winter.
Ten months ago all 16 of England’s and Wales’ air ambulances created the Association of Air Ambulance Charities (AAAC) to lobby the government to consider the needs of the air ambulance community. The AAAC argues that the lives and money the group saves warrant it some influence.
Turbomeca is today announcing a further expansion of its customer support network with four additional TurboSupport Centers. Simultaneously, during a morning press conference here at the Paris Air Show, the helicopter engine specialist in the new Safran group (formed by the merger of Snecma and Sagem) is to disclose the sale of the first Arrius 2B2-powered Eurocopter EC135 in Brazil to the country's firefighters.
The Carabineros de Chile has ordered four AgustaWestland A109 Powers for law enforcement, search-and-rescue and transport operations. The first helicopter is to be delivered in the first quarter of next year. AgustaWestland also announced it will soon establish an authorized service center in Chile.
AgustaWestland has sold its first A109 Grand light twin helicopter to a private operator in the Philippines, joining 10 earlier A109 models already in service in the country. Orders for nearly 60 aircraft have been placed since its launch in July 2004. Initial deliveries commenced in mid-2005 following European certification. Deliveries to the U.S. will commence this month.
PZL-Swidnik last month handed over the 500th airframe–an AW139–it has produced for AgustaWestland. The Polish company builds all the fuselages and tail booms for the AgustaWestland A109E Power, A109S Grand, A109 LUH and A119 Koala helicopters and is a risk-sharing partner with AgustaWestland on the AW139. Last year the company delivered more than 100 airframes to AgustaWestland.
Turbomeca is ready to launch new variants of its helicopter engines. The French manufacturer (Hall 4 Stand B12) is working on technology demonstrators that can be the basis for a preliminary powerplant. But before launching any such program, it is waiting for the market to clearly indicate the need for new Arriel or Arrius turboshaft engines.
AgustaWestland recently announced several orders from African countries and Switzerland. The Nigerian government has signed a contract for four AW139s configured for search-and-rescue missions. Separately, the South African National Port Authority has selected the A109 Power for its harbor pilot shuttle in Richards Bay. In addition, a South African entrepreneur ordered a Grand.
The pilot, the sole person aboard, was killed October 9 in the crash of a Tri-state Emergency Systems Agusta A109 (N7YL) about five miles from the airport moments after it was cleared for the ILS approach to Bradford Regional Airport in Pennsylvania. Reported weather was visibility four miles in fog, broken clouds at 800 feet and overcast at 1,100 feet. This is the second fatal crash of an A109 in the U.S. in 10 days.