European manufacturer AgustaWestland, a subsidiary of Finmeccanica, is exhibiting four helicopters at Heli-Expo and plans to announce new orders and provide briefings on the AW109/119 and 139 models here today. On display are a Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) AW139, a Grand configured for executive transport, a high-gross-weight AW119ke Koala and an AW139 equipped for offshore operations.
Cyprus’s Ministry of Justice has ordered two AW139 medium twins for law enforcement and search-and-rescue (SAR) operations. The island nation’s Ministry of Defense had previously ordered three AW139s for SAR and utility-EMS duties, covering the Cyprus flight information region.
Shortly after its entry into service in December with Mumbai, India-based Heligo Charters, an AgustaWestland AW139 performed a medical evacuation 217 nm off the coast. The destination was a seismic survey ship. Offshore operator Heligo Charters recently received CAR145 Maintenance Organization Approval, making it the first helicopter company in India to comply with these requirements.
Attendees who make their way to Anaheim, Calif., for the Helicopter Association International’s (HAI) Heli-Expo later this month will encounter the usual crowded and noisy convention-center floor occupied by companies unveiling their latest wares. But the event may lack some of the energy and exuberance of recent shows given the dreary economic picture.
Aerospace Filtration Systems anticipates FAA supplemental type certification (STC) for its AgustaWestland AW139 inlet barrier filter (IBF) system in the next few months. AgustaWestland and Aerospace Filtration engineers worked together to design the IBF system for the AW139.
AgustaWestland last month announced the delivery of the 200th AW139. It was one of two aircraft accepted by Hong Kong-based Sky Shuttle Helicopters, which in November changed its name from Heli Express. These were the first two of six aircraft Sky Shuttle ordered in June 2007. The company claims to operate more than 60 helicopter flights a day.
Malaysia announced it would buy 12 Eurocopter EC725 Cougar medium-lift helicopters, then changed its mind two weeks later. Opposition politicians demanded that the controversial deal be referred to the country’s anti-corruption agency. Although new helicopters are urgently needed to replace the country’s 40--year-old fleet of Sikorsky S-61 Nuris, the government said the purchase was abandoned because of the deteriorating economic situation.
AgustaWestland has logged a number of sales successes for the AW139 medium twin. In addition to UTair’s recent order for as many as 35, AW landed orders from a number of other operators. In October, Chevron ordered two AW139s for offshore operations. Ontario-based charity Ornge then ordered 10 AW139s for emergency medical services, also booking two options. The contract was valued at $120 million.
Montreal, Quebec-based ACASS has two aircraft on static display here at MEBA, a Bombardier Challenger 601 and 604. Both are available for immediate sale. In addition to these, the company is also offering the sale or lease of two Global 5000 business jets and an AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter.
Honeywell engineers are developing for the AgustaWestland AW139 medium twin a software upgrade that optimizes the helicopter’s Primus Epic avionics system for the rigors of search-and-rescue operations.