AgustaWestland is purchasing full ownership of the BA609 civil tiltrotor program from Bell Helicopter, the companies announced today at the Paris Air Show. As a result, the aircraft now has been redesignated as the AW609. Under the proposed agreement, subject to regulatory approval, Bell will continue to provide engineering, program management services and key component manufacture on the AW609. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Dark clouds and a strong breeze failed to prevent yesterday’s unveiling of AgustaWestland’s latest civil helicopter, the eight-ton multi-role AW189. “This reminds me of the North Sea, one of the working environments our new helicopter was designed for,” said AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini.
AgustaWestland’s new common cockpit concept is being adopted on all of its new helicopters in order to provide an identical “look and feel” to the operators. But the idea is about more than branding. Ultimately, it’s all to do with safety in the hope that in an emergency situation pilots will not have to give a moment’s thought to which model they are flying since all the commands are identical.
For the better part of five years AgustaWestland (AW) had been counting on Turkey to be a major customer for the military variant of its AW139 medium twin, the AW149, for the Turkish utility helicopter program (TUHP).
Russian Helicopters and engine manufacturer Turbomeca announced last month that they signed contracts for the supply of “at least 308” Ardiden 3G turboshafts to be installed on the “updated” Kamov Ka-62 medium twin. The Ardiden 3G is an Ardiden 3 variant producing 1,700 to 2,000 shp.
Australia’s Burbank Group has ordered an AgustaWestland (Stand 7010) AW109 Power light twin helicopter. The Melbourne-based company has also taken an option for a GrandNew light twin helicopter.
The U.S. Air Force will invite bids for two major helicopter requirements, the service confirmed.
The “HH-60 Recapitalization” is the new name for the ill-fated combat search and rescue (CSAR-X) competition, which was abandoned in 2009, three years after the Boeing HH-47 Chinook was first declared the winner.
Sikorsky has won the $3.5 billion Turkish Utility Helicopter Program (TUHP), with a version of the Black Hawk designated T-70. Detailed negotiations for assembly of an initial 109 T-70s by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) will now begin. TAI will produce some parts for the T-70s, while local company Alp Aviation, which is 50-percent owned by Sikorsky, will produce dynamic components.
Aviation Specialties Unlimited (Booth No. 3033) has been awarded the first FAA supplemental type certificate (STC) for installation of night-vision equipment on the AgustaWestland AW139 medium helicopter. The installation was done for Era Helicopters. Overall, ASU has performed more than 500 night-vision goggle (NVG) cockpit modifications on a wide variety of helicopter makes and models.
Russia “hearts” helicopters. That was the message from the Moscow-based Helicopter Industry Association of Russia (HIAR) at its press conference at Heli-Expo 2011 yesterday.
Four of Russia’s leading helicopter operators: UTair, Vertical-T, Pahn Helicopters and Aviashelf provided proof with a snapshot of their operations, opportunities and challenges.