AgustaWestland celebrated the opening of a new AW139 medium-twin helicopter assembly line in Philadelphia last week, just days before the company announced here at Heli-Expo 2008 new orders worth an estimated $163 million. More than half the orders were for AW139s.
AgustaWestland kicked off what is expected to be a bonanza of sales activity this week by announcing contracts for new helicopters worth an estimated $163 million, as well as additional orders worth at least $278 million that fulfill past contracts and distribution agreements.
The Lockheed Martin and AgustaWestland HH-71 team have successfully conducted aerial refueling tests involving a Royal Air Force AW101 Merlin Mk3 helicopter and an Italian Air Force KC-130J tanker, the companies announced.
Half a continent away from its builder’s growing U.S. base in Philadelphia, an AW109 Grand looks sleek and businesslike even with its feet out feeling for terra firma here in Houston.
Bell/Agusta Aerospace engineers working on the BA609 Tiltrotor have stepped up their certification efforts and now plan more than 100 hours of flight testing this year–a major acceleration over the 300 hours logged since 2003. However, the first flight of the third prototype faces yet another delay. Bell/Agusta now expects certification of the hybrid helicopter/airplane design in three years.
Asia accounted for about 20 percent of AgustaWestland’s orders last year and the European helicopter maker therefore sees the region as a growing market. The booming Chinese economy is a big factor in this assessment, as is the European helicopter maker’s presence in the People’s Republic through an expanding relationship with the Chinese aerospace industry.
Malaysia’s YTL Corporation Berhad signed an order at the show for an AgustaWestland AW139 twin-turbine helicopter for VIP and corporate transport operations. The purchase marks the first sale of the AW139 to the Malaysian VIP market. Capt. Revi Chandran, left, is YTL group aviation manager. With him is Renzo Lunardi, AgustaWestland senior vice president of commercial business.
AgustaWestland kicked off a meeting in Brussels on February 5 of the so-called Clean Sky Program. A founding member of the Clean Sky initiative and co-leader of the Green Rotorcraft Integrated Technology Demonstration project, the European helicopter builder wants to develop and produce cleaner and quieter helicopters, which it says could boost their roles in future air transport systems. AgustaWestland (Booth Nos.
Swiss aircraft interior specialist Aerolite received a contract from Norway’s Lufttransport AS to outfit three AgustaWestland AW139s with emergency medical transport interiors. The helicopters will receive dedicated turnkey medical interiors including single- and dual-patient litters, integrated patient loading systems, cabinetry and system and equipment integrations.
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.