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Tuesday February 21, 2006 :

AB139 Programme Update

UK / Italy : (AgustaWestland Press Release ) - Since its launch at the Paris Air Show in June 2001 the AB139 has become the best selling and class leading helicopter in the medium twin market. Nearly 150 AB139 orders have been placed by customers in 23 countries. By early 2006 nearly 30 aircraft had been delivered to customers in Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Enters Service Offshore

The offshore and passenger transport market represents the largest market sector for the AB139 to date, with several major operators having placed orders including ERA, CHC, Lufttransport and Chevron Texaco. In offshore configuration the aircraft can be configured with 12 or 15 passenger seats in the cabin.

In late 2005 the aircraft entered service with ERA operating in the Gulf of Mexico and with CHC in the North Sea operating from their Den Helder base in the Netherlands. The combination of high speed, excellent role performance, a large spacious cabin and the latest safety features, have made the AB139 the obvious choice for operators wishing to move to the next generation of medium twin-engine helicopters

VIP Transport Market Grows

The AB139 cabin can be configured with a wide range of luxury interiors, tailored to individual customerís requirements with seating for five to twelve passengers. In December 2005 an AB139 operated by Abu Dhabi Aviation for Royal Jet entered service in the United Arab Emirates to fly VIPs to Royal Jetís fixed wing operating base at Abu Dhabi Airport.

The attractive large cabin, high cruise speed, range and low vibration levels of the AB139 have made the VIP/Corporate transport market an important one, with nearly 20% of sales so far being in this market sector.

Meeting Emergency Service Requirements

The AB139 is ideally suited for search and rescue both offshore and overland operations and has recently been selected by a number of operators in this role including the Spanish Maritime Safety Agency and UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency, with the later being operated by CHC Helicopter Corporation.

This month the Italian operator Air Green is using its SAR/EMS configured AB139 to provide emergency coverage at the XX Olympic Winter Games in Turin. The EMS interior allows for the carriage of two stretcher patients with additional seats for paramedics and walking casualties. The 200 kg capacity rescue hoist located above the large starboard cabin door allows easy ingress of survivors and rescue litters.

Military Market Success

The AB139 has also achieved significant success in the military and public security markets having won competitions in Eire, the United Arab Emirates, Estonia and Oman.

Second Assembly Line

In late November 2005 AgustaWestland broke ground on an expansion of its U.S. manufacturing facility in Philadelphia, PA. The new, state-of-the-art facility will be used for the production of the AB139 helicopter and will be completed by the end of 2006. The 110,000 square foot facility will include flight hangars, completion and final assembly areas, manufacturing stations and avionics assembly along with warehouse and office space. The project will require over $27 million in investment and create 150 jobs, thereby nearly doubling the existing workforce

Superior Performance

The AB139 is equipped with a Catergory A training mode, however, the flyaway procedure after TDP is the same for both one engine inoperative and all engines operating, improving safety and minimising training requirements. EASA certification of Catergory A performance was obtained in late 2005. Under ISA+35 conditions the AB139 can cruise at a true air speed of 150 knots from sea level up to over 10,000 ft.

Full Flight Simulator

An AB139 full flight level D simulator is scheduled to be ready for training in late 2006 at the new Rotorsim facilities located in Sesto Calende, Italy. Rotorsim is a joint venture company set up by AgustaWestland and CAE, which will provide type and recurrent training for pilots and maintainers of the AB139.

CAPping Maintenance Costs

The AgustaWestland Component Assurance Plan (CAP) provides repair, overhaul and replacement spare parts at a fixed rate for each hour of aircraft flight time. The CAP covers the major components including the rotor and transmission systems with additional service plans available from Pratt & Whitney Canada and Honeywell to cover the engine and avionics systems respectively. Together these plans allow operators to plan operations with highly competitive known operating costs.

The AB139 also comes with an industry leading warranty with customers able to choose between a three year/3,000 hour prorated or three year/2,000 hour non-prorated warranty package. This

Background

The AB139 is a new-generation medium twin-turbine helicopter designed with inherent multi-role capability and flexibility of operation. The applications include law enforcement, EMS, offshore, corporate, and VIP transport. The AB139 is capable of carrying up to 15 passengers, or eight deployable law enforcement officers and two armed crew members for aircraft protection at high cruise speeds, in the most spacious cabin and with the best power reserve in the medium twin class. State-of-the-art, proven systems on board include two Pratt & Whitney PT6C-67C turboshaft engines with full-authority digital engine controls (FADEC), Honeywell Primus Epicģ avionics, a four-axis digital autopilot, and four large flat displays in the cockpit with the option for night vision goggle compatibility.


AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is one of the largest helicopter companies in the world. The company offers an unrivalled range of helicopters, training and support solutions to satisfy the requirements of civil and military customers. AgustaWestland has its primary operations in Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
  • news: AB139 Begins US Certification Flying Dec 20, 2002
  • news: AgustaBell AB139 program update Feb 14, 2002
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