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Thursday September 21, 2006 :

First AW139 Delivery To South Africa

UK / Italy : (AgustaWestland Press Release ) - AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce the delivery of the first Grand helicopter to the South African entrepreneur Mr. David Mostert. The aircraft is configured with a six passenger VIP interior. This is the third Grand ordered by South African customers. Orders for the Grand which was launched in July 2004 have now reached almost 100 aircraft.

The Grand is a new top-of-the-range light twin helicopter developed to meet a wide range of roles, providing the cabin space and payload that until now could only be met by larger more expensive helicopters. The Grand’s spacious and easily accessible cabin features an unobstructed 2.30 m (7 ft 7 in) long passenger section and 1.40 m (4 ft 7 in) wide sliding cabin doors. The Grand’s wide selection of interiors and equipment provides the versatility to accomplish missions such as corporate/VIP transportation, SAR, EMS, offshore operations, law enforcement and coastal patrol.

The Grand has a maximum take-off weight of 3,175 kg (7,000 lb). The combination of 608 kW (815 shp) new generation Pratt & Whitney PW207C turbo shaft engines with electronic control (FADEC) and an uprated transmission ensure outstanding performance, in both hovering and forward flight, including Full Class 1 operation. The resulting payload/range capability and the very high cruise speed make the Grand an unrivalled helicopter in its category.

The first AgustaWestland AW139 to be delivered to South Africa is making its appearance at African Aerospace and Defence 2006 following an eight day ferry flight from Milan, Italy to Cape Town, South Africa earlier this month. The VIP configured AW139, painted in a spectacular customized colour scheme, is owned and operated by a South African businessman.

The eight day, 6,388 nm (11,830 km) ferry flight started at AgustaWestland’s Vergiate factory near Milan in Northern Italy where the aircraft was built and included stops in Crete, Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe before arriving in Cape Town, South Africa.

The unique and spectacular colour scheme was designed for the customer by a South African artist and was then applied to the aircraft by an airbrush artist, also from South Africa, at AgustaWestland’s Vergiate facility.

Ten AW139s have already been ordered by African customers and it is already in service with customers in Namibia and Zambia in the VIP transport role where the aircraft’s exceptional performance in hot and high conditions is being successfully utilised. The AW139 can be configured with a range of cabin layouts including five to eight seat luxurious configurations for Head of State and VIP transport and 12 or 15 seat standard passenger transport configurations.

The AW139 is the aircraft of choice for every medium lift application around the globe and has been particularly successful in the commercial and corporate transport, law enforcement, EMS and SAR markets. Firm orders for the AW139 are now close to 200, making it the best selling medium twin helicopter today. By September 2006 over 40 aircraft had been delivered to customers in Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

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