Thanks to Cristian MAGRO for this image of the Aerospatiale AS350B2 Ecureuil Eliabruzzo I-ELBR … wearing a brand new paintjob. Trento Mattarello, October 2017.

Thanks to Stefano CULATTI for this image from the past … Aerospatiale AS350B2 Ecureuil Eliabruzzo I-ELBR, taking off from Imola F1 Race Circuit, May 2004.

PRESS RELEASE – Dubai, 13 November 2017

ABU DHABI AVIATION EXPANDS LEONARDO AW139 OFFSHORE HELICOPTER FLEET.

  • Order for two additional Leonardo AW139s with deliveries expected in 2017
  • Abu Dhabi Aviation already operates 15 AW139 helicopters
  • World best seller with over 1000 units ordered by 250 customers in 70 countries worldwide

Leonardo announced today that Abu Dhabi Aviation (ADA) has signed a contract for two additional AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopters. The announcement was made during an official ceremony at the Dubai Air Show. The aircraft will be used to perform offshore transport mission with deliveries expected in 2017, further expanding ADA’s AW139 fleet which today accounts of 15 units in service primarily supporting the Oil & Gas industry. This latest order is part of an agreement for 15 helicopters including the AW139/AW169/AW189 types with deliveries through to 2019 announced at the end of 2015.

“Owning a fleet of ultra-fast aircraft and a state-of-the-art safety system has helped Abu Dhabi Aviation to drive its operations to the highest level of customer service,” said H.E. Nader Ahmed Al Hammadi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Aviation. “The services provided by Abu Dhabi Aviation are driven by customer’s needs. These helicopters are widely used in the UAE, the GCC and the Middle East. ADA’s AW139s benefit from the support solutions provided locally by AgustaWestland Aviation Services LLC, an Abu Dhabi Aviation (ADA) and Leonardo joint venture delivering thorough support and maintenance services in the region.”

“The company has recently expanded its fleet to cover its contractual obligations inside and outside the U.A.E. and to further its investment in the aviation industry.”

“Abu Dhabi Aviation Services are among the top services provided across the Middle East and the world, especially in the field of operation, maintenance and training.” He added.

With over 140 AW139s ordered in the Middle East, more than 60 of which by customers in UAE, this model has demonstrated extremely successful for a wide range of commercial and government roles across the region and has set new standards for offshore transport duties.

Abu Dhabi Aviation has established, in cooperation with Leonardo, a maintenance center under the name of AgustaWestland Aviation Serices L.L.C. to expand its scope of services and meet the growing needs of the helicopter fleet in the Middle East. Having almost completed the provision of helicopter maintenance, repair and overhauling as well as all relevant logistic services. The joint venture is poised to provide maintenance, repair and overhauling for a wide range of these helicopters’ components.

The Company also plans to provide specialized services to support the full range of the new generation AgustaWestland aircrafts in the region. Since its inception, late 2011 and reaching its full operational capacity in 2013, the company has taken huge steps towards providing an expanding range of full-fledged services and activities with plans to sell helicopter spare parts and accessories and carry out helicopter/ component repairs, overhauling, customization, modification and upgrading. Leonardo and Abu Dhabi Aviation have been able to unify their efforts thanks to the combination of their engineering and maintenance expertise and the local partner’s willingness to invest in the latest technologies.

The Company has already acquired the capabilities to provide support to the latest AgustaWestland aircrafts: AW169 and AW189 to operators in the region. Therefore AgustaWestland Aviation Services is expected to become one of the major support centers of the latest generation of AgustaWestland aircraft.

PRESS RELEASE – 13 November 2017

150th H145 delivered to Helicopter Travel Munich.

Donauwörth, 13 November 2017Helicopter Travel Munich (HTM) recently took delivery of the 150th H145 built in Donauwörth. The German operator, whose fleet of aircraft also includes H125s and H135s, will use the H145 from January for offshore deployments over the North Sea. Prior to its entry into service at its base in Emden, the customer will fit the helicopter with a rescue winch and a floatation equipment.

The first H145 customer was the DRF, the German air rescue organisation, in July 2014. The largest H145 operator is the Babcock Group, which has a fleet of 27 H145 helicopters. The H145 is mainly used to fly air rescue missions and as a police helicopter. With over 30 aircraft in operation, Germany is the H145’s largest national market. Since 2014, H145s have flown a total of more than 80,000 flight hours. The entire H145-Family (H145, EC145 and BK117) has collected over 4,8 million flight hours with more than 1.400 helicopters delivered to this date.

One of the very first Agusta-Bell AB412SP produced in Italy … this helicopter, construction number 25602, was originally delivered to EliSud as I-LEMA during August 1989 … after very few years of duty in Southern Italy was returned to Agusta Factory and subsequently leased to Sweden Army as 11338 for approximately two years (1993-1994). After the lease in Sweden “25602” returned in Italy and was finally registered as I-MAGM. Always wearing the original EliSud color scheme was than bought by Elilario Italia and operated for several years on behalf of 118 Regione Lombardia – Elisoccorso Como. This helicopter was, for a long time, a very well known machine flying in our skies. With the arrival of the new AW139s within Elilario Italia (Inaer Italia) fleet, I-MAGM was used as a backup machine for a while, and, afterward, sold to Inaer Spain in the second half of 2008 as EC-KUV.

PRESS RELEASE – Dubai, 12 November 2017

MILESTONE AVIATION AND LEONARDO TO PROVIDE THREE AW169S TO FALCON AVIATION.

Milestone Aviation Group (“Milestone”), a GE Capital Aviation Services company and the global leader in helicopter leasing, and Leonardoannounced today that Falcon Aviation of Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) will expand its AgustaWestland AW169 helicopter fleet with the addition of a further three aircraft.

The light-intermediate twin helicopters will have multi-mission capability with entry into service in first quarter of 2018. The aircraft will be acquired through operating lease, and represent the first helicopter lease transaction for Falcon.

“We are delighted to partner with Falcon Aviation and grow our presence in the Middle East,” said Milestone Vice President Commercial, Michael York. “When Milestone invested in a team in Dubai two years ago it was with the goal of building our support for local operators like Falcon.”

“Falcon Aviation was the global launch customer for the offshore-configured AW169, and subsequently took delivery of a VIP configured AW169” said Leonardo Helicopters’ Chief Business Officer Carlo Gualdaroni. “We are thrilled the unique capabilities of this new generation model have met Falcon’s diverse operating goals and they have chosen to increase their fleet to include 11 Leonardo Helicopters.”

With the addition of three AW169, Falcon Aviation’s fleet will include five AW169, two AW189 helicopters and four additional Grand and GrandNew light-twin helicopters. The AW169 and AW189 models, used by Falcon Aviation, are part of Leonardo’s family of new generation helicopters that also includes the AW139. These helicopters all possess the same high-performance flight characteristics and safety features whilst sharing the same common cockpit concept and design philosophy. This approach facilitates synergies for operators of fleets across the 4 to 9 tonne weight categories in areas such as training, flight operations, maintenance and support.The combination of AW169 and AW189 offshore gives Falcon Aviation and its customer’s unmatched benefits in terms of efficiency, capability and safety.

Falcon Aviation have also recently set a major operational milestone with their first AW169 which has become the global fleet leader in terms of flight hours, out of a total of 40 helicopters of this model in service with customers worldwide to date.

This Eurocopter AS350B3 Ecureuil c/n 3698 was briefly registered in Italy as I-EWAY [owned by BN Commercio e Finanza, Roma] during the year 2005, than immediately cancelled towards Peru. Here you can see the helicopter still wearing the full color scheme of Helicoptere Service SA, the previous Swiss operator. The picture was taken at Eurotech facility in Caiolo (SO) during the month of August 2005.