AgustaWestland’s AW149 multi-role military helicopter received military certification on July 15 from the Italian Directorate of Air Armaments (Arma Aereo), following completion of trials with the country’s Reparto Sperimentale di Volo (RSV) test center at Pratica di Mare air base. According to AgustaWestland, operational tests are to begin shortly.
PZL-Mielec has flown the second Sikorsky S-70i “international” helicopter. It is the first to fly in Poland, where two more units are in final assembly. The Polish company previously shipped major subassemblies for the first S-70i to the U.S., where initial flight tests were completed at Sikorsky’s West Palm Beach, Fla. facility last month.
MAC Aircraft Interior Specialists (formerly McCarthy Interiors) has won a $1.75 million contract to design and build quick-change executive interior kits for two Czech-made PZL W-3A Sokol twin-turbine helicopters destined for use by Poland’s presidential and government fleet.
Czech-based Aero Vodochody is bidding for the takeover of Polish helicopter manufacturer PZL-Swidnik, which is to be privatized.
More than a decade-and-a-half after PZL-Swidnik introduced it to the Western world in 1985, the Polish helicopter manufacturer’s Ecureuil-like SW-4 turbine single received Polish certification on November 14.
It seems summer is the time of year for somnolent helicopter programs to wake up and stretch their rotors toward the sun…and certification. According to sources within Polish rotorcrafter PZL-Swidnik, that company has presented the certification documentation for its five-seat SW-4 to Polish aeronautical authorities.
Italian-based manufacturer AgustaWestland early last month expressed interest in buying all or part of its Polish-based counterpart, PZL-Swidnik, should Polish authorities confirm their intention to privatize the company. The two companies have been cooperating for 11 years. PZL-Swidnik now produces the fuselages of five AgustaWestland models–the AW109 Power and Grand, AW109 LUH, AW119 Ke and AW139.
Jeff Pino, Sikorsky Aircraft president, laid out what he called the four pillars for Sikorsky’s future at a Heli-Expo press conference here. These are, he said, growth, excellence in execution, defining X2 technology applications and globalization. He said Sikorsky’s $3.2 billion in total revenue last year set a record for the company. Total revenue in 2005 was $2.8 billion.
Sikorsky Aircraft of Stratford, Conn. has agreed to acquire Polish aircraft maker PZL Mielec, which will form the foundation of Sikorsky’s European operations. Sikorsky and the Polish government announced the contract during a ceremony in Warsaw on January 10.
A New Jersey man was sentenced last month to two years’ probation after pleading guilty to shining a handheld laser, first into the cockpit of a Citation landing at Teterboro Airport and again later at a helicopter that was searching for the source of the first incident. Under the Patriot Act, 39-year-old David Banach could have received a 20-year jail term.