AgustaWestland announced several AW139 orders and an AW189 milestone at Paris 2013. The Finmeccanica company (Chalets A232, A260) signed a contract for the sale of its first AW139 medium twin-engine helicopter in Senegal. The contract includes in-country support services and training for both aircrew and maintainers. The helicopter will be operated by Senegal’s air force.
GE’s 2,000-shp CT7-2E1, the powerplant for the twin-engine AgustaWestland AW189, received FAA certification last week. The CT7-2E1 is the latest civil-certified addition to the CT7/T700 line, with Fadec and what GE describes as a state-of-the-art hot section for power and reliability. The first production-certified CT7-2E1s will be delivered to AgustaWestland this month, GE said.
GKN Aerospace (Chalet B73, Hall 2b F169) has completed coordination of a nine-nation European project, which has succeeded in developing a new optical ice-monitoring concept. The new system promises fully automated inflight ice protection for the first time.
Innovation at AgustaWestland, according to Robert Farnese, company market positioning and promotion manager, comprises two elements. “First, you need to have an idea that works,” he told a Paris Air Show audience on Tuesday. “Second, you have to execute that idea.” He then added a caveat: “You must also master the present and have a vision for the future.”
Survival systems specialist Aero Sekur (Hall 1 F24) is highlighting major new contracts for the company’s floatation and external liferaft systems. The company is also opening a new repair and overhaul joint venture and it has increased its international presence and appointed a new COO, Marco Borghesi.
On March 26 this year the UK’s Department for Transport announced that Bristow Helicopters (part of the U.S.-based Bristow Group) had won the contract to provide a search and rescue helicopter service for the whole of the UK. The 10-year, £1.6 billion contract will officially begin implementation in April 2015, and will be fully in place by 2017, managed by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).
British Helicopter Association CEO Peter Norton has urged UK authorities to abandon plans for new restrictions on rotorcraft operations over urban areas following the January 16 accident in which an AgustaWestland A109 Power crashed in central London. The crash prompted British Prime Minister David Cameron to order a review of helicopter operating rules, and an Air Accidents Investigation Branch inquiry is in progress.
AgustaWestland (Booth 7070) has received orders from Russia and the British Isles for VIP-configured helicopters.
Exclases Russia inked a contract for five AW139 medium twins–in a mix of VIP and utility layouts. HeliVert, a Russian Helicopters and AgustaWestland joint venture located in Tomilino near Moscow, will produce the AW139s. The deal is a follow-on to a previous agreement, which calls for one AW139 to be delivered in June. Exclases also has ordered a GrandNew light twin in VIP transport configuration.
The U.S. Navy restarted the VXX Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program by issuing a final request for proposals on May 3. The next day, Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) officially welcomed a new type into the presidential fleet–the MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor–which will be used in a support role to carry White House staff and reporters following the President.
Inaer France received on March 22 what it claims is the first approval in that country for a commercial helicopter operator to use night-vision goggles (NVG). France is relatively late adopting NVG operations, as most Avincis group operators already had such an approval, Frédéric Goig, CEO of the Le Cannet des Maures-based company, told AIN. Avincis is the name chosen late last year for the merged Inaer and Bond.