AgustaWestland (Chalet P22) received an order for 15 of its new AW189 helicopters from Gulf Helicopters of Qatar here at the Dubai Airshow yesterday. The first two aircraft are due to be delivered in 2014 and all aircraft should achieve operational readiness in 2017.
“The Middle East remains a very important market for AgustaWestland,” said CEO Daniele Romiti on the eve of this year’s Dubai Airshow. “It is a challenging market, where personal relationships have a great importance,” he added.
The AgustaWestland AW101 won Norway’s competition for a new search-and-rescue (SAR) helicopter. The win could be worth more than €1 billion if Norway buys 16 aircraft as planned and exercises options for another six. The AW101s will replace Sea Kings provided by Westland in the 1970s.
Eurocopter used the Helitech show to highlight some recent contracts. First, the UK-based Avincis group announced a firm order for three EC225s. The first two aircraft will be delivered next month, with the third slated to arrive in next year’s second half.
AgustaWestland expects its AW189 and AW169 medium twins to achieve certification by the end of next year.
AgustaWestland continues to be on pace to certify its new AW189 medium-twin helicopter late this year, with the first non-test production model making its first flight on Thursday. The helicopter is slated for December delivery to oil-and-gas service operator Bristow Group. Two other AW189s are on the production line in Italy.
AgustaWestland expects that its 16- to 18-passenger AW189 medium-twin helicopter will be EASA certified by year-end. Four prototypes and two pre-production aircraft have logged a combined 1,900 flight hours, it said. Certification, once hoped for this summer, is now “very close,” according to a company spokesman. The first delivery, to offshore operator Bristow, is scheduled to take place by year-end, he told AIN.
AgustaWestland is preparing the way to possible final assembly of its helicopters in Brazil with plans to expand the São Paulo facilities of its local subsidiary. Construction is due to be completed by the end of 2014 and the enlarged facility will also be used to accommodate a training center, bonded warehouse, workshop space and a heliport.
AgustaWestland announced several AW139 orders and an AW189 milestone at Paris 2013. The Finmeccanica company (Chalets A232, A260) signed a contract for the sale of its first AW139 medium twin-engine helicopter in Senegal. The contract includes in-country support services and training for both aircrew and maintainers. The helicopter will be operated by Senegal’s air force.
Rockwell Collins (Hall 2B D108) is launching a family of products designed to give helicopter pilots better situational awareness when flying in congested and hazard-filled airspace. Called HeliSure, the family’s first two products, Helicopter Synthetic Vision System (H-SVS) and Helicopter Terrain Awareness and Warning System (H-Taws), have been selected by AgustaWestland for its AW149, AW189, AW101 and AW169 helicopters.
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