AgustaWestland has announced a further expansion of its AW139 medium twin helicopter’s capabilities through the addition of two new certifications.
It’s Heli-Expo, and that means it’s also Honeywell forecast time. The 13th edition of the diversified aerospace manufacturer’s best estimate on what the rotorcraft industry can expect in the next five years predicts that global deliveries of new civilian-use turbine-powered helicopters will lie somewhere between 4,200 and 4,400 through 2015, and that represents a 5-percent gain over the delivery tally from 2006 to 2010.
Pratt & Whitney Canada landed at Heli-Expo 2011 (Booth No. 421) with two new engines to display and $1 billion in research and development funds available to invest over the next five years.
“We plan to stay number one,” said Raffaele Virgili, v-p of customer service, “and to do that, we need to invest in the future.”
The Los Angeles Fire Department’s air operations section has contracted with Spectrum Aeromed (Booth No. 1659) to design, engineer and install a custom carry-on medical device stand for its AgustaWestland AW139 multi-mission helicopters.
The Spectrum design and engineering team collaborated with the LAFD’s special missions staff to create the quick-release, modular floor-to-ceiling stand.
Two helo makers–Eurocopter and Bell–have thrown their proverbial hats into the medium-twin market. Eurocopter, in partnership with China’s Avicopter, has entered with the EC175, while Bell’s recently announced Magellan has yet to reach the drawing board.
Eurocopter currently is flying two EC175 prototypes, and is expecting EASA certification later this year, with deliveries to begin next year.
The AgustaWestland AW139 medium twin helicopter is increasingly being tapped for executive and VVIP missions, according to the Mecaer Aviation Group (MAG), a provider of these interior completions.
Held in Abu Dhabi, the IDEX defense exhibition is traditionally the platform for the United Arab Emirates to announce major deals. But apart from a possible buy of Predator UAVs and an H-60 upgrade (see separate stories), there was nothing on the UAE’s big-ticket items at last week’s event. Even the much-anticipated deal for the THAAD high-altitude air defense system has not been finalized.
CAE’s new 3000-series helicopter simulator brings an extraordinary amount of realism into what is essentially a computer-driven replica of a Eurocopter AS350B2 cockpit capable of simulating a variety of real-world training experiences. With the Tropos-6000 visual display projecting the view outside the cockpit onto screens that wrap around the cockpit’s chin windows, flying the simulator seems extremely close to a real helicopter.
The European Commission ruled that AgustaWestland must repay a €25 million military subsidy it received from the Italian government in 1998 for the AW139 medium helicopter and BA609 tiltrotor programs as they are civil, not military, aircraft.