Home' Asian Aviation : AAV_Sept 2012 Contents 34 AsianAviation | SEPTEMBER 2012
Russian Helicopters and AgustaWestland
signed a 'Heads of Agreement' at the
Farnborough Air Show to jointly develop
an all-new 2.5 tonne class single-engine
The agreement was signed by Bruno Spagnolini,
CEO of AgustaWestland, and Russian Helicopters
CEO Dmitry Petrov. The overall programme will be
shared on a 50/50 basis, with the new helicopter
being designed for the worldwide market and a wide
range of applications.
The deal comes a year after the two manufacturers
set up HeliVert, a 50-50 Russian Helicopters joint
venture. HeliVert is intended to set up and run a final
assembly line plant for the civil AW139 medium twin
helicopter in Russia. The plant will have the capacity
to assemble up to 20 helicopters per year, with
production set to progressively increase to a steady
state regime by 2015.
Speaking at the ceremony in Farnborough in July,
Dmitry Petrov, CEO of Russian Helicopters, said:
"We are pleased to be expanding our partnership
with AugustaWestland to include the development
of this new light helicopter. Co-operation with other
global leaders represents an important component
of our strategy as we continue developing new
products to meet the constantly evolving demands
of our customers around the world."
Bruno Spagnolini, AgustaWestland CEO said:
"This agreement further expands our strong and
successful co-operation with Russian Helicopters.
Having established Helivert to assemble the AW139
in Russia, this programme marks the next step up in
terms of co-operation to address the future needs of
not only the important and growing Russian market
but also the worldwide market."
AgustaWestland and Russian Helicopters
established the joint venture company HeliVert in
2010 to assemble AW139 helicopters at a new
plant in Tomilino, near Moscow. The plant will meet
the growing demand for the AW139 helicopter in
both Russian and CIS civil markets with production
starting this year.
Meanwhile, AgustaWestland handed over its
500th AW139 to Weststar Aviation Services of
Malaysia during a ceremony held at Farnborough. The
aircraft was accepted by Tan Sri Syed Azman Syed
Ibrahim, Group Managing Director of Weststar from
Spagnolini. The 500th delivery comes just one year
after AgustaWestland delivered the 400th helicopter.
Spagnolini said at the ceremony "The AW139
continues to be the outright class leader worldwide
and we are delighted that we are celebrating the
delivery of the 500th aircraft with one of our most
important customers, Weststar Aviation Services."
He added "We look forward to achieving similar
success with the AW139's new family members,
the AW169 and AW189, which have the same high
performance and modern technology features that
have made the AW139 such a success."
Weststar Aviation Services is the largest operator
of AW139 helicopters in Asia and has ordered 16
AW139s, with this aircraft being the 13th aircraft
to be delivered. Having started AW139 operations
on 1st April 2011 Weststar Aviation Services' fleet
has now flown more than 16,000 hours in support
of Petronas' and other oil companies offshore
operations in peninsular Malaysia.
The entire AW139 fleet has now flown over
500,000 hours. AW139 final assembly is performed
at AgustaWestland's Vergiate and Philadelphia
facilities in Italy and the United States respectively,
and will soon be joined by Helivert in Russia.
The AW139 has a maximum cruise speed of
165 knots (306 km/h) and a maximum range in
excess of 570 nm (1060 km) with auxiliary fuel.
AgustaWestland says the helicopter has outstanding
one engine inoperative capabilities, even in the
hot and high operating conditions. The integrated
cockpit minimises pilot workload allowing the crew
to concentrate on mission objectives.
500 aircraft are now in service performing many
roles including EMS/SAR, offshore transport, VIP/
corporate transport, law enforcement and military
transport. Almost 170 customers from more than
50 countries have ordered more than 640 AW139
helicopters so far.
"Co-operation with other global leaders represents an important component of our
strategy" Dmitry Petrov, CEO, Russian Helicopters
AgustaWestland and Russian Helicopters intend to build on their
existing partnership with the development of a new single-engine
helicopter, writes Colin Baker
AgustaWestland and Russian Helicopters, which plan to assemble the AW139
(seen here) in Russia, have also agreed to develop a single-engined helicopter.
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