Among the eight AgustaWestland helicopters on display outside Finmeccanica’s pavilion (Static Display L1) at Farnborough Airshow 2014, half of them–the new, multi-role AW149, the 4.5-tonne class AW169 configured for emergency medical service along with the mockup of a military AW169, and the 8-tonne class AW189–illustrate the dual approach to helicopter configuration that AgustaWestland has embraced in the development of its newest rotorcraft. In particular, the two AW169s being shown here handily illustrate the results of this dual-approach concept.
Finmeccanica-AugustaWestland kicked off the Farnborough Airshow by announcing added “vertical lift” to its order book:
* Japan’s Yokohama City Fire Department has ordered a second AW139 intermediate twin-engine helicopter to further advance its operational capabilities. The department received its first AW139 last year, and the second is scheduled to enter service in 2015.
The companies have walked away from an agreement announced last year to partner on a new 5,000-pound helicopter. They continue to operate the HeliVert joint venture that produces AW139s for the Russian and CIS markets.
AgustaWestland arrived at EBACE 2014 with a GrandNew light-twin-engine helicopter and also brought a scale mockup of the exclusive VIP interior in the new AW169 light-intermediate twin. The GrandNew has secured more than 330 orders by 200-plus customers in nearly 40 countries.
China, as Asia’s largest prospective market for business aviation, always seemed an obvious choice as the location for the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE). But with demand for business aviation now bubbling in other parts of Asia, and the industry having to show patience in waiting for China to fulfill its potential, some have questioned whether organizer NBAA might consider freshening up the event in some other venue.
The Japan National Police Agency ordered another AgustaWestland AW139, the Italian helicopter manufacturer and its distributor Mitsui Bussan Aerospace announced at ABACE yesterday. The medium twin is scheduled to enter service next year for operations in Kagoshima Prefecture. More than 40 AgustaWestland helicopters are currently supporting law enforcement throughout various Japanese prefectures. According to AgustaWestland, Japan already uses the AW139 for critical missions such as search-and-rescue, firefighting and disaster relief.
The Japan National Police Agency has ordered another Agusta Westland AW139 medium twin helicopter, which is scheduled to enter service in 2015 for operations in Kagoshima Prefecture. AgustaWestland and Mitsui Bussan Aerospace announced the sale here at ABACE on Tuesday, noting that the new AW139 will replace an ageing Bell 412 in the police fleet.
AgustaWestland and Sino-US Intercontinental of China celebrated the grand opening of a joint regional business headquarters in Shanghai on April 9. Last September Sino-US Intercontinental was appointed an official non-exclusive distributor for civil AgustaWestland helicopters in China, but not including Hong Kong and Macau.
With some long-awaited relaxation of the rules governing helicopter operations in China, prospects for the rotorcraft industry at last seem to be firming up. Last year the entire fleet (465 helicopters, 424 based in Mainland China) grew by 20 percent, according to the Asian Sky Group, which in February published the latest edition of its Greater China Civil Helicopter Fleet Report.
Chartright Executive Helicopters will operate a depot for AgustaWestland in Toronto that will stock parts for the AW109, AW119 and AW139s. Chartright is an authorized AgustaWestland service center.
- Page 1