AgustaWestland’s Grand New helicopter has received European certification for conducting area navigation (Rnav), global satellite navigation (GNSS) and vertical approach guidance (SBAS/LPV) approaches. The AW109 family member is the first helicopter to receive these approvals from the European Aviation Safety Agency.
The European Commission (EC) is allowing France and Italy to grant aid for the development of two medium-twin helicopters in the 10,000-pound class–the Eurocopter X4 and the AgustaWestland AW169.
Eurocopter will receive €143 million ($186 million) as a repayable advance. It will be repaid in full when an unspecified “pre-defined sales target” is reached. Each additional delivery beyond this target will trigger the payment of a royalty fee to the French state.
The U.S. Navy’s latest attempt to replace the aging Presidential helicopter fleet has been delayed. The Pentagon rejected an analysis of alternatives (AoA) for the VXX program because no “cost-effective” solution was identified, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
A helicopter operating in the South China Sea suffers a lightning strike that forces it to take refuge on an oil platform, blocking its only landing pad from other movements. Within seconds of the engines shutting down, staff at AgustaWestland’s logistics center at Lonate Pozzolo near Milan are aware of the problem and a response plan is swinging into action that will see technicians assessing the extent of the damage and dispatching a replacement rotor within a few hours so that the aircraft can return to base to complete repairs without further disrupting operations.
AgustaWestland and Honeywell have introduced a new “Phase 7” version of the Primus Epic avionics suite for the AW139 rotorcraft. The upgrade, which will be available soon for new-build aircraft as well as for retrofit, marks a step-change in the manufacturer’s approach to developing the cockpits of its growing family of aircraft.
AgustaWestland has stepped up its product portfolio with the unveiling earlier this week of its New Generation Helicopter Family, consisting of the existing A109 Grand New and AW139 flagships and the in-development AW169 and AW189 models.
The strategy is clear. AgustaWestland wants to give operators options to build their fleet through the different weight classes it will soon cover.
Evergreen International Aviation (Booth No. 4920) is looking to expand its roots. Evergreen began as a commercial helicopter service business in the 1960s but quickly grew into a diversified aviation company that included aircraft charter, salvage, and modification. The company also expanded into heavy-lift helicopters.
By the time that Heli-Expo ends tomorrow, AgustaWestland expects to sign agreements at the show for more than 100 helicopters worth more than $923 million. Some of the deals are still in their early stages, but the outlook is certainly positive, company officials told AIN.
Bond Aviation Group announced yesterday it has signed “a framework agreement” with AgustaWestland (Booth No. 5602) for the purchase of 10 helicopters, with options for another five.
AgustaWestland and Dublin, Ireland-based Lease Corporation International (LCI) yesterday at Heli-Expo signed an agreement covering purchase of a fleet of AW139, AW169 and AW189 helicopters. Including options, the deal is valued at more than $398 million. The agreement also includes aircraft maintenance and pilot training. Deliveries of the helicopters are planned to begin next year, starting with the AW139, followed by the AW189 in 2014 and the AW169 still later, after its certification.