NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Rome, Italy, 2012/07/13 - AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce it handed over the 500th AW139 to Weststar Aviation Services of Malaysia during a ceremony held at the Farnborough International Airshow today. FNC IM; SIFI.MI
The aircraft was accepted by Tan Sri Syed Azman Syed Ibrahim, Group Managing Director of Weststar from Bruno Spagnolini, CEO, AgustaWestland. The 500th delivery comes just one year after AgustaWestland delivered the 400th helicopter.
Bruno Spagnolini, CEO, AgustaWestland 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.”
“As the leading offshore aviation services provider in the region, Weststar Aviation Services is proud to be affiliated with the top helicopter manufacturers in the world and honoured to be a part of this impressive milestone for AgustaWestland. The AW139 helicopter is truly the best in its class and it has served us very well. I am sure that AgustaWestland will continue to enjoy great success with the AW139 and its variants,” said Tan Sri Syed Azman Syed Ibrahim, Group Managing Director of Weststar.
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. The AW139 is also set to be assembled at the HeliVert plant located in Tomilino, near Moscow. HeliVert is a Joint Venture company established by Russian Helicopters (a subsidiary of JSC UIC Oboronprom, part of Russian Technologies State Corporation) and AgustaWestland. The plant will have the capacity to assemble up to 20 helicopters per year, with production set to start in the forthcoming months and progressively increase to a steady state regime by 2015.
The delivery of the 500th aircraft marks another major milestone for the AW139 programme. The AW139 has become the best selling helicopter in its class for an impressive variety of commercial and government roles meeting the most demanding requirements across the globe. Since its certification in 2003, the AW139 has been constantly enhanced to achieve ever increasing levels of performance, safety, mission effectiveness and capability to meet the very latest challenging requirements of present and future customers. The only new generation helicopter in its weight class, the AW139 sets new standards of performance in its class with the largest cabin in its category, a maximum cruise speed of 165 knots (306 km/h) and a maximum range in excess of 570 nm (1060 km) with auxiliary fuel. The aircraft has outstanding one engine inoperative capabilities, even in the hot and high operating conditions. The advanced integrated cockpit with state-of-the-art technology 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.