AgustaWestland has announced that orders in the first half of this year have risen by 10 percent over the same period last year, to U1.62 billion ($2.5 billion). Meanwhile, the Anglo-Italian helicopter maker is creating a subsidiary company in Portugal, called AgustaWestland Portugal, to provide complete helicopter support services. Its first contract is to maintain the Portuguese Air Force’s 12 AW-101 transport helicopters.
The “Grand Adventure” concluded yesterday morning at New York La Guardia Airport. Helicopter pilots Scott Kasprowicz and Steve Sheik flew a stock twin-engine 2007 AgustaWestland A109S Grand 20,078 miles in a little more than 11 days, shattering the old record by almost six days. The pair beat the record without auxiliary fuel tanks, chase airplanes or an elaborate mission control.
SkyTrac’s automated flight following and satellite communication system has received FAA STC and Transport Canada Type Certificate Data Sheet (TCDS) approval for installation in Robinson R22s and R44s. SkyTrac is already approved for installation in various AgustaWestland, Bell, Eurocopter and Sikorsky models.
Yesterday AgustaWestland and Boeing signed an agreement to jointly manufacture the Boeing CH-47F Chinook helicopter for the Italian army. AgustaWestland serves as the prime for the Italian contract, and takes responsibility for design and systems integration, plus delivery. Boeing Rotorcraft Systems plans to build the Chinook fuselages at its plant at Ridley Park, Pennsylvania.
Russia’s Oboronprom Corporation and AgustaWestland announced the signing of a heads of agreement for the joint final assembly of the AW139 medium twin helicopter in a still-to-be-built factory near Moscow. According to Oboronprom director general Andrey Reus, outlined plans call for a production rate of 24 helicopters per year.
Russian aerospace conglomerate Oboronprom has started “large-scale, long-term” cooperation with European manufacturer Agusta- Westland for helicopter distribution, maintenance and production.
Russia’s helicopter business received a boost with an announcement by the country’s vice premier, Sergey Ivanov, that production rates for both civil and military models should be increased. Next January, the government is due to issue draft plans that will call for almost $6.4 billion of fresh investment in the industry through 2015, with half of the sum to come from the private sector.
With its acquisition of Italian counterpart Elilario, Spanish operator Grupo Inaer has become one of Europe’s largest helicopter operators, with a fleet of nearly 220 rotorcraft. The deal is valued at ?60.8 million ($91 million). Whether the new entity will be called Elilario or Inaer Italy has yet to be decided.
AgustaWestland scored a big win last month with the sale of 12 new search-and-rescue (SAR)-configured EH 101 helicopters to the Portuguese government. In a deal valued at $313 million, Portugal voted to buy a fleet of the Anglo-Italian helicopters to replace its SAR fleet of Eurocopter Pumas. In winning the deal, AgustaWestland beat out an offer from Sikorsky for an equal number of its developing S-92 rotorcraft.
Helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland is here showing a mockup of an AW101 cabin in a luxury layout, probably the ultimate for a VVIP helicopter, as it is the heaviest civil helicopter available in the Western world. “This is just one of the possible layouts in such a roomy cabin,” an AgustaWestland spokesman told EBACE Convention News.