The Finnish Border Guard has ordered an AgustaWestland AW119Ke for border patrol, special operations and firefighting missions. It will join the agency’s first three AW119Kes, scheduled to enter service during the third quarter. All will operate from Helsinki and Rovaniemi. In Bulgaria, the Ministries of Finance and Interior have ordered two AW109 Powers to provide air surveillance capability on the outer European Union borders.
To the accompaniment of multicolored lights and music, AgustaWestland unveiled its new AW109 Grand New here yesterday. According to AgustaWestland head of marketing Roberto Garavaglia, the helicopter is a “step change” follow-on to the popular AW109S Grand.
AgustaWestland CEO Giuseppe Orsi offered a satisfactory look back at 2009, as well as a positive forecast, during a Heli-Expo press conference on Saturday here in Houston.
“Last year was better than we had expected,” he said, although the year-end numbers won’t be announced officially by Finmeccanica, AgustaWestland’s parent company, until early next month. “Despite the [economic] crisis, 2009 was a great year for us.”
Donaldson is introducing two new products to its line of helicopter inlet-barrier filters (IBF). Inlet filters for the AgustaWestland AW109 Power and Grand and for the Eurocopter EC135 are slated for certification this year. Donaldson IBFs are operating around the world, from flight operations in Nepal near Mount Everest to the Sacramento Valley of California, protecting helicopter turbine engines during crop-spraying sorties.
With some 200 AW109S Grands now in service, AgustaWestland (Booth No. 1629) is introducing the next evolution in its popular, light twin, the AW109 Grand New, at Heli-Expo.
The next-generation Grand New was announced here in Houston at an AgustaWestland media event last night, along with news that it has already received EASA certification and that FAA approval is expected by mid-2010.
The U.S. Navy last week issued a comprehensive 27-page request for information (RFI) for the next VXX helicopter that will possibly begin to replace the
current fleet of “Marine One” Sikorsky VH-3D and VH-60N helicopters in the 2017-2023 time frame. Responding parties have until March 3 to submit a letter of interest and April 19 to submit their final responses to the Naval Air Systems Command.
A preview of what future AgustaWestland helicopter cockpits will look like was seen in the AW149 mockup exhibited at the Paris Airshow last June. The new cockpit approach promises to reduce costs, both in the development phase and in the life cycles of aircraft. The higher degree of cockpit commonality among AgustaWestland models promises to save money on pilot training and enhance fleet flexibility.
The U.S. Navy on Tuesday issued a request for information (RFI) for the helicopter that will possibly begin to replace the current fleet of “Marine One” Sikorsky VH-3Ds and VH-60Ns between 2017 and 2023.
In the wake of a tailboom failure on a Gulf Airways AW139 in August, AgustaWestland is assuring customers with helicopters on order that it will deliver them with a newly designed boom starting in April. The tailboom on the Gulf AW139 failed while the helicopter was taxiing on the ground in Doha, Qatar. There were no injuries. That boom exhibited signs of debonding, as have numerous other AW139 tailbooms, according to several operators.
In Vergiate, Italy, last month, AgustaWestland delivered an AW139 to VIH Cougar Helicopters. The U.S. operator will use the 12-passenger aircraft for offshore transport missions in the Gulf of Mexico. A few days earlier, Eurocopter handed over two EC145s to Helicopteros Marinos, an Argentinean offshore operator that serves the oil and gas industry in the southernmost area of the country.