The uncertain U.S. economy had little effect on sales and attendance here at Heli-Expo’08. A record-setting 16,829 rotorcraft enthusiasts had attended the show through yesterday afternoon, a figure certain to provide a boost to the industry’s confidence in the health of the worldwide helicopter market.
Visiting Honeywell’s new corporate AW139 medium-twin helicopter at the AgustaWestland booth (No. 3039) is a great way to see the clean and uncluttered instrument panel offered by Honeywell’s Primus Epic avionics suite.
Here at Heli-Expo’08, Aerospace Filtration Systems (Booth No. 4013) is marking the delivery of more than 3,000 inlet barrier filters (IBFs) for helicopters. The engine protection systems are in use worldwide on a wide array of commercial and military helicopters, with more than one million total flight hours combined.
Air Concepts International is a small company with great expectations. Tucked away with a half-dozen other businesses in a nondescript building across the street from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, it is slowly but surely expanding its market presence as a helicopter completion and refurbishment specialist.
AgustaWestland (Booth No. 3039) unveiled its exclusive AW139 Versace interior Sunday, but the Italian OEM was quick to point out that it did not expand its line of exclusive interiors and layouts for money or profit.
In a ceremony held yesterday afternoon, AgustaWestland delivered a new AW139 equipped with a Honeywell Primus Epic avionics suite to Honeywell aviation services chief pilot Ed Newton, Jr. Honeywell will base the new helicopter at its flight department headquarters at Morristown Airport in New Jersey and will use it to fly customers and employees and to demonstrate the company’s products, according to Newton.
Aero Toy Store brought two custom-finished new helicopters to Heli-Expo to highlight the company’s growing helicopter sales capability. On display at its booth (No. 2859) is a new AgustaWestland AW139 VIP equipped with the Sagem ICDS-10 multifunction display and ACi’s Cocoon noise-reduction wall panel system. The Cocoon system minimizes noise and vibration by attaching cabin furnishings to the airframe using sound/vibration isolator mounts.
Panalpina is showing a video at its Heli-Expo booth (No. 1530) this week to explain how it moves helicopters by air and sea. Based in Richmond, British Columbia, Panalpina is a specialist in long-haul shipping of new and used helicopters.
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.