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.
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.
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.
Alenia Aermacchi said operational M-346 advanced jet trainers were grounded as a precaution following the May 11 crash of a company-owned prototype in northern Italy. It was the second crash of an M-346 pre-production aircraft; the first jet crashed off the coast of Dubai in November 2011 after appearing at the Dubai Air Show.
Though its parent company Finmeccanica yesterday reported €786 million in losses last year, subsidiary AgustaWestland posted strong 2012 results that included revenues of €4.2 billion, new orders of €4 billion and an accumulated backlog of €11.87 billion, as well as earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation of €473 million. The helicopter manufacturer’s results reflected marginally improved results over its 2011 performance and also reflected a slight increase in research and development spending, to €506 million.
AgustaWestland and Embraer have terminated joint-venture discussions for helicopter production in Brazil. The companies issued a joint statement yesterday announcing the decision, but declined to provide reasons why talks collapsed.
Mecaer Aviation Group is known industry wide for supplying landing gear and flight control systems to several different OEMs, but here at Heli-Expo ’13 the company has put its interior design and cabin comfort division on display. Front and center in the booth (No. N2107) is an elegant mockup of a corporate-outfitted AW169 passenger cabin, showcasing both the all-leather seating, LED lighting, wood veneers and a state-of-the-art communications and entertainment system.
Aircraft painting company Straube’s Aircraft Service (Booth No. N3317) recently announced it expects to receive Part 145 repair station certification for its paint shop at the AgustaWestland parts and repair facility in Philadelphia shortly.
“The 145 repair certification encompasses a five-part process, [and] we are currently finishing up phase three,” explained Straube’s chief inspector Kevin Darabant. The company expects to receive certification by this summer, he added.
A fourth AW169 intermediate twin joined the test program last month. The first AW169 flew last year and the PW210A-powered helicopter is expected to be certified next year. The test fleet has accumulated more than 150 flight hours. AgustaWestland also announced the appointment of William Hunt as the new CEO of AgustaWestland Philadelphia. The company’s plant there manufactured 54 AW139s and AW119Kxs in 2012 and employs 500 people.
AgustaWestland’s new CEO, Daniele Romiti, met the press here at Heli-Expo Monday night just days after his appointment by parent company Finmeccanica.