Innovation at AgustaWestland, according to Robert Farnese, company market positioning and promotion manager, comprises two elements. “First, you need to have an idea that works,” he told a Paris Air Show audience on Tuesday. “Second, you have to execute that idea.” He then added a caveat: “You must also master the present and have a vision for the future.”
On March 26 this year the UK’s Department for Transport announced that Bristow Helicopters (part of the U.S.-based Bristow Group) had won the contract to provide a search and rescue helicopter service for the whole of the UK. The 10-year, £1.6 billion contract will officially begin implementation in April 2015, and will be fully in place by 2017, managed by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).
Daniele Romiti, AgustaWestland’s new CEO, says the company needs to adopt a new mindset if it is to improve its capabilities. He summarized the call to action in a motto: “Think Customer,” which he said is embedded in the Anglo-Italian OEM’s “StepChange” program.
AgustaWestland is in an expansive mood when it comes to civil rotorcraft training. The northern Italy-based helicopter manufacturer recently installed a new CAE-built AW139 full-flight simulator (FFS) at its primary training center in Sesto Calende and plans to add FFSs for the new AW189 and AW169 designs by 2014 and 2015, respectively. In addition, the company has recently launched courses in Switzerland and Malaysia, and anticipates future training expansion into the UK and Russia. The Middle East and South America are on its radar also.
AgustaWestland (Booth 7070) has received orders from Russia and the British Isles for VIP-configured helicopters.
Exclases Russia inked a contract for five AW139 medium twins–in a mix of VIP and utility layouts. HeliVert, a Russian Helicopters and AgustaWestland joint venture located in Tomilino near Moscow, will produce the AW139s. The deal is a follow-on to a previous agreement, which calls for one AW139 to be delivered in June. Exclases also has ordered a GrandNew light twin in VIP transport configuration.
Indian business aviation specialist Aviators announced here at EBACE yesterday that it had ordered three Nextant 400XTis, while also revealing that it has been appointed Nextant Aerospace’s exclusive sales agent for India. The first “I” version of the remodeled Beechjet 400 is due to be delivered to Aviators in the first quarter of next year.
Nextant (here on the static display) has hopes for more sales in the country, as 33 entry-level aircraft were delivered there between 2007 and 2011, the manufacturer said.
AgustaWestland (Booth 7070) announced plans last month to open a second final assembly line for its new AW169 medium twin at its U.S. plant in Philadelphia to complement the main line for the helicopter in Vergiate, Italy. Major components for the AW169 will continue to be made to AW’s plant at Yeovil in the UK and this site will continue to provide engineering support, said company spokesman Geoff Russell.
The strong business aviation presence at Malaysia’s LIMA airshow held last month on the island of Langkawi was evidence that the industry’s growth in the Asia-Pacific region extends well beyond China.
AgustaWestland will open a second production line for the new AW169 medium-twin helicopter at its manufacturing facility in Philadelphia, the company announced today. The primary production line for the AW169 will remain at the company’s plant in Vergiate, Italy. Four examples of the 9,000-pound class helicopter are currently in flight-test, with certification expected next year.
The strong business aviation presence at Malaysia’s LIMA air show held last month on the island of Langkawi was testament to the fact that the industry’s growth in the Asia Pacific region extends well beyond China.