The FAA, EASA and Transport Canada approved Goodrich's rotor-blade ice-protection system (Rips) for the AgustaWestland AW139 medium twin, the Charlotte, N.C.-based aircraft systems supplier announced yesterday. Rips is a key part of the full ice-protection system and bestows all-weather capability on the AW139, making it the first helicopter in its category certified for flight into known-icing conditions.
In 1986, Mario Diaz came from his native Argentina as a boy "to spend a couple of months." Twenty-five years later he is CEO of Cabin Crafters, a fast-growing completion and refurbishment center tucked away in the suburbs of South Hackensack, N.J., five minutes from Teterboro Airport, where his father began his own career in aviation.
Helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland is here at the Farnborough airshow with three new aircraft: the civil GrandNew and the military AW159 Lynx Wildcat and AW149. All made their first flights during the last 12 months, although flight testing for the development of the Grand derivative is believed to have started two years ago.
Boeing's controversial embrace of the AgustaWestland AW101 helicopter for the revived U.S. presidential helicopter requirement could lead to more partnerships with AgustaWestland parent company Finmeccanica. Dennis Muilenberg, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space and Security, said that C4ISR-cyber security, information technology and services-are other areas of potential collaboration.
On Tuesday, AgustaWestland broke ground on a new Russian production plant at Tomilinom, near Moscow. The 120,000-sq-ft building will house another final assembly line for the AW139 medium twin helicopter that will be operated by HeliVert, a 50-50 joint venture between AgustaWestland and state-owned Russian Helicopters. The AW139 is currently manufactured in Italy, as well as in the U.S. at Agusta’s Philadelphia plant.
Yesterday, Boeing licensed the rights to AgustaWestland’s AW101 for the purpose of entering it in the latest U.S. presidential helicopter competition, known as VXX. Under the deal, Boeing will have full data, intellectual property and production rights for the three-engine, medium-lift helicopter.
AgustaWestland (AW) is still in the hunt for the U.S. VXX Presidential helicopter replacement program, commonly known as Marine One. “I can confirm we will be competing for the VXX program. We strongly believe the [AW-] 101 is the best helicopter to meet this requirement,” an AW spokesman told AIN. The chairman of AW’s parent company, Finmeccanica, suggested that AW was in talks with Boeing and L-3 to partner on the contract.
Swiss rescue organization Rega’s 13 helicopters flew a steady (+0.2 percent) number of missions last year, the tally being 10,443. Meanwhile, the introduction of the fleet of AgustaWestland AW109 Da Vincis, a dedicated version of the Grand New, will be completed this summer in Rega’s mountain bases. Rega spent CHF113.5 million ($100 million) to acquire the 11 new helicopters.
A spokesman for AgustaWestland (AW) told AIN that the company is still in the hunt for the U.S. VXX Presidential helicopter replacement program, commonly known as Marine One. Pier Francesco Guarguaglini, the chairman and CEO of AW parent company Finmeccanica, suggested that AW could partner with Boeing and L-3 for the contract.
Intermountain Healthcare (IHC) has ordered three of AgustaWestland’s GrandNew light twin helicopters and holds options for two more. The U.S. operator will deploy the new aircraft with its Intermountain Life Flight division to be used for medical evacuation missions in Utah and Nevada.