Italian aircraft interior specialist Mecaer Aviation Group (Booth No. 4538) is displaying a full-scale mock-up of its new VIP interior for the AgustaWestland AW169 here. Mecaer was previously selected by Eurocopter as the VIP interior system supplier for its EC145.
AgustaWestland and Northrop Grumman have teamed to offer the three-engine AW101 for the U.S. Air Force Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH) requirement, the successor program of the cancelled CSAR-X. The companies will offer the same type for the Navy’s VXX program to replace the U.S. presidential helicopter. That acquisition was originally awarded to AgustaWestland teamed with Lockheed Martin for the VH-71 Kestrel version of the AW101 but later cancelled.
The Navy has spent nearly a decade and $3.4 billion researching candidates for a new fleet of helicopters to transport the President and other government VIPs. Now, as the Navy starts the process anew as the VXX program, AgustaWestland announced that it will again enter the fray with its medium-lift three-engine AW101, this time partnered with Northrop Grumman.
Mecaer Aviation is to design and manufacture the landing gear system for Bell Helicopters’s new 525 Relentless twin. The Italian company, which already provides landing gear for the existing 429 model, will be responsible for engineering, system integration, and the production of a complete ‘bolt-on’ system, comprising nose and main gears, electro-mechanical actuation, the braking system, wheels, tires and control panel. Mecaer also provides landing gear for AgustaWestland.
UK Defense Secretary Philip Hammond, MP, joined celebrations marking the first deliveries of the AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat helicopter to the British Army here at the show yesterday. He simultaneously confirmed a contract worth approximately $388 million for training and support. The AW159 is to remain in service until 2044.
AgustaWestland and Russian Helicopters here have signed a “preliminary agreement” to jointly develop a new 2.5-metric-ton class (5,500 pounds) single-engine helicopter. Bruno Spagnolini, CEO of AgustaWestland, and Russian Helicopters CEO Dmitry Petrov inked the document. The program will be shared on a 50/50 basis.
AgustaWestland’s AW159 Lynx Wildcat has moved closer to being fully operational. The initial release into service for the British Army model was issued last April and the first operational flight came on June 18. The AW159 is the successor of the Lynx helicopter family although the only major components in common with the earlier Lynx design are the main rotor blades and rotor head.
AgustaWestland logged a cluster of new helicopter sales on the eve of the Farnborough International Airshow. In Japan, two AW139 medium twins have been ordered for fire-fighting roles, one by the Fire Disaster Management Agency (FDMA) and the other by the city of Yokohama. The FDMA should receive its aircraft in 2013, equipped with a belly tank and bambi bucket, while
AgustaWestland has clearly looked to the example set by leading airliner-makers Airbus and Boeing when it comes to instilling its so-called New Generation Helicopter Family with a strong sense of both commonality and flexibility in terms of applications.
Ontario’s Legislative Assembly will continue its hearings over the summer into alleged performance failings and mismanagement at the Canadian province’s government-funded air-ambulance service known as “Ornge.” The hearings started on March 28 and, as of press time, it was unclear when Members of the Provincial Parliament (MPPs) would issue their final report into what appears to have gone badly wrong after Ontario’s Liberal Party-led government gave overall control of the service to privately owned Ornge.