Boosting the capability of Europe’s long-awaited NH90 multi-role military helicopter, AgustaWestland has delivered the first all-weather TTH (tactical transport helicopter) version to the Italian Army.
AgustaWestland (Booth No. 3039) doesn’t plan on introducing a new helicopter this week, but the company has plenty to say, beginning with the announcement that BERP IV rotor blades for the three-engine AW101 are now available as an option on new civil and military variants or as a retrofit on models already in service.
Visitors to the first AgustaWestland Italian Corporate Pilot Conference at the company’s Cascina Costa factory in January hailed the event as a huge success. Attended by more than 50 corporate pilots, the meeting provided a forum for discussing operational, product and safety topics. During the opening of the workshop-based conference, AgustaWestland CEO Giuseppe Orsi provided a company update and overview of customer support initiatives.
Pentagon sources confirmed to AIN that Lockheed Martin has been ordered to stop work on the development of a second block of AW-101-variant helicopters scheduled to join the U.S. presidential fleet in 2015, while the Department of Defense reassesses the program and perhaps seeks alternatives that could include the Sikorsky S-92. When the President is aboard, these helicopters are designated “Marine One.”
The Helicopter Association International (HAI) celebrates its 60th anniversary this year with what appears likely to go down as one of the biggest Heli-Expo conventions ever.
Having found some success with military orders for the Mi-28N and Mi-8/17, Moscow-based Mil is seeking to expand its offerings and attract some interest from the business aviation market.
AgustaWestland and U.S. partners Lockheed Martin and Bell Helicopters have run into big trouble over the supply of 28 VH-71 helicopters to the U.S. Marine Corps for presidential transport duties. The VH-71 is a version of the European EH101 that is produced in the UK and Italy.
Rapid economic growth in the United Arab Emirates is fueling the expansion of Dubai-based helicopter operator Helidubai. Less than two years after its inception, the company, owned by the government of Dubai, has embarked on a fleet expansion with both passenger and aerial-work aircraft. In addition, it is also striving to help create dedicated heliports and helipads in the burgeoning city.
The year since Heli-Expo 2004 has not been a bad one for the helicopter industry, all things considered. The industry put on a confident face at Heli-Expo in March last year, with companies logging a record number of deals at the show. Bell announced its intention to claw back market share from Eurocopter and within 48 hours had taken walk-up orders for 11 copies of the just-launched IFR version of its 427 light twin.
VIP and government flight specialist Dubai Air Wing has ordered two AW139s in executive configuration. In Qatar, Gulf Helicopters has ordered 10 AW139s for offshore-oil passenger transport.