Held in Abu Dhabi, the IDEX defense exhibition is traditionally the platform for the United Arab Emirates to announce major deals. But apart from a possible buy of Predator UAVs and an H-60 upgrade (see separate stories), there was nothing on the UAE’s big-ticket items at last week’s event. Even the much-anticipated deal for the THAAD high-altitude air defense system has not been finalized.
After a protracted and controversial procurement process, the Maryland State Police signed a deal last month to purchase six new AgustaWestland AW139s.
Britain’s Labour Party Members are pushing for a full Parliamentary inquiry into a government deal to pump more than £32 million into Italian-owned helicopter maker AgustaWestland rather than British-owned companies. AW operates the former Westland plant in Yeovil that manufactures the heavy AW-101 and is expected to produce the AW169 medium twin. Treasury secretary Danny Alexander is defending the decision.
Heliportugal and Groupe SAF, two Portuguese and French operators that quietly merged in 2008, are announcing a common name and expansion plans. Now called United Helicopter Services (UHS), the company operates 63 aircraft, including 59 helicopters, and has a 300-strong workforce, of which 100 are pilots. Annual revenues are said to be close to €70 million ($98 million) and flight hours are about 30,000 annually.
AgustaWestland is promoting three of its civil helicopters for proposed U.S. Department of Defense programs. Two of the three, the AW119 single and the AW139 medium twin, are built at the company’s Philadelphia plant.
Last year AgustaWestland (AW) acquired a majority interest in Polish airframer PZL-Swidnik. The deal included Swidnik’s long-in-development SW-4 light turbine single, which was on display at this year’s Farnborough airshow. While an AW spokesman declined to reveal the helicopter’s price, the SW-4 is widely believed to sell for a base price near $1 million, with prices approaching double that figure for a well equipped model.
Spectrum Aeromed announced that it is part of a team developing an aeromedical interior for the latest iteration of the AW109 light twin. AgustaWestland announced the Grand New at February’s Heli-Expo.
The FAA, EASA and Transport Canada approved Goodrich's rotor-blade ice-protection system (Rips) for the AgustaWestland AW139 medium twin, the Charlotte, N.C.-based aircraft systems supplier announced yesterday. Rips is a key part of the full ice-protection system and bestows all-weather capability on the AW139, making it the first helicopter in its category certified for flight into known-icing conditions.
In 1986, Mario Diaz came from his native Argentina as a boy "to spend a couple of months." Twenty-five years later he is CEO of Cabin Crafters, a fast-growing completion and refurbishment center tucked away in the suburbs of South Hackensack, N.J., five minutes from Teterboro Airport, where his father began his own career in aviation.
Helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland is here at the Farnborough airshow with three new aircraft: the civil GrandNew and the military AW159 Lynx Wildcat and AW149. All made their first flights during the last 12 months, although flight testing for the development of the Grand derivative is believed to have started two years ago.