American Eurocopter has lodged a protest concerning the Maryland State Police’s (MSP) request for proposal (RFP) to replace its fleet of 11 aging AS 365Ns. Eurocopter asserts that the RFP was designed to favor the AgustaWestland AW139. Eurocopter had proposed refurbishment, rather than replacement, of the Maryland fleet along the lines of what it has done for the U.S. Coast Guard’s fleet of HH-65s.
A recent study of the transportation infrastructure in Italy determined the nation needs a means of effecting a major improvement in the flow of traffic between its densely populated urban areas, and the country is testing opening low-level air routes to rotorcraft as a way of improving mobility.
Four new AW139s destined for Trinidad and Tobago are the latest in a series of U.S.-manufactured helicopters whose export loans are being backed by the U.S. Export-Import Bank. The Ex-Im reports guaranteeing through July more than $200 million in U.S. commercial helicopter export loans for aircraft destined for markets in the Americas and Asia.
AgustaWestland’s order book for the AW139 medium twin now exceeds 430. The latest order is from Egypt’s Petroleum Air Services for two and options on two more. PAS services platforms in the Mediterranean Sea and Red Sea.
Selection of a preferred bidder could emerge before the end of this year in the UK’s search-and-rescue helicopter (SAR-H) procurement process, which aims to replace the country’s existing mix of military and contractor-operated helicopters with new machines operated by a single commercial consortium under a private finance initiative (PFI) contract.
AgustaWestland (Booth No. 7020) recently delivered the first of a pair of AW139s to its official Japanese distributor, Mitsui Bussan Aerospace, marking the first civilian use of the type in the Asian country.
Mitsui Bussan Aerospace, AgustaWestland’s distributor for the AW139 medium twin in Japan, plans to deliver the first of two AW139s to All Nippon Helicopter (ANH) in the middle of the year. ANH will conduct electronic newsgathering missions for Nippon Housou Kyoukai, Japan’s national broadcasting corporation.
Swiss interiors designer Aerolite has delivered a fourth AW139 EMS helicopter to Norwegian air ambulance operator Lufttransport. The interior includes a stretcher for single- and dual-patient configuration and four “ergonomically placed” swiveling and tracking seats. If necessary, the operator can change the configuration to a 12-seat utility design.
The Los Angeles Fire Department’s decision to acquire AgustaWestland AW139s came down to a simple value equation: nearly twice the horsepower of their current Bell 412s for only a small increase in direct operating costs. “The bang you get for the buck is much cheaper,” said battalion chief Joseph Foley.
Aviation Specialties Unlimited (Booth No. 3819) recently completed initial night- vision goggle (NVG) training for Irish Air Corps pilots and associated flight crews. The No. 3 Operations Wing of the Irish Air Corps is the first and only Irish operator using NVGs. It operates EC 135 and AW139 helicopters and performs a variety of missions including naval air support, reconnaissance, medevac, search-and-rescue and command-and-control.