A senior AgustaWestland executive told AIN late last week that the company was giving serious consideration to building production models of the AW609 civil tiltrotor in the U.S., possibly in Texas. Robert LaBelle, managing director of the AgustaWestland Tilt-Rotor Co., said the aircraft initially would be built partially in Italy and the U.S., but that the ultimate decision on where to conduct final assembly would be “driven by the customer base” and that “35 percent of that is predicted to be in the United States.”
Bell/Agusta Aerospace Company
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 is purchasing full ownership of the BA609 civil tiltrotor program from Bell Helicopter. AW’s new CEO, Bruno Spagnolini, and Bell CEO John Garrison announced the deal at the Paris Air Show on June 21. Under the proposed agreement, subject to regulatory approval, Bell will continue to provide engineering, program management services, and key component manufacture on the 609. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
AgustaWestland is buying out Bell’s stake in the BA609 civil tiltrotor program from Bell Helicopters. Financial terms of the deal, announced by AgustaWestland’s new CEO Bruno Spagnolini and Bell CEO John Garrison here at the Paris Air Show yesterday, were not disclosed.
AgustaWestland is purchasing full ownership of the BA609 civil tiltrotor program from Bell Helicopter, the companies announced today at the Paris Air Show. As a result, the aircraft now has been redesignated as the AW609. Under the proposed agreement, subject to regulatory approval, Bell will continue to provide engineering, program management services and key component manufacture on the AW609. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The European Commission ruled that AgustaWestland must repay a €25 million military subsidy it received from the Italian government in 1998 for the AW139 medium helicopter and BA609 tiltrotor programs as they are civil, not military, aircraft.
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.
This year’s Farnborough airshow came and went without the long-anticipated announcement by either Bell or AgustaWestland as to what would become of their joint program, now well into its second decade, to develop a civil tiltrotor. Without offering specifics, a Bell spokeswoman told AIN last month, “Bell/Agusta Aerospace is committed to certifying and delivering the world’s first commercial tiltrotor.”
South Korea-based Samsung Techwin has placed an order for two AgustaWestland AW139 medium twin helicopters. The company plans to use the helicopters for corporate and VIP transport, marking the first time the manufacturer (Booth No. 3728) has made a commercial sale in South Korea.
Work continues on the Bell/Agusta Aerospace BA609 civil tiltrotor program, with more than 100 people dedicated by both Bell Helicopter and AgustaWestland to ongoing flight test and certification tasks. FAA certification is now planned for 2012, according to a Bell spokesman, and the two flight test BA609s–one based at Bell facilities in Texas and one at AgustaWestland in Italy–have logged more than 400 hours.
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