All posts for the month May, 2022

ANSV NEWS – 31 Maggio 2022.

Aperta un’inchiesta di sicurezza sull’incidente che, il 27 maggio, a Quargnento, ha interessato l’elicottero SA 318C marche di identificazione I-PLLY, durante un volo locale.

Distrutto l’aeromobile; feriti i quattro occupanti.

Sabato 28 maggio l’ANSV ha effettuato il sopralluogo operativo sul sito dell’incidente.

Aditional details are available at the following Aviation Safety Network link:

PRESS RELEASE – 23 May 2022

Blade Air Mobility, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLDE, “Blade”) a technology-powered global air mobility platform, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement (the “Agreement”) through its wholly-owned European subsidiaries to acquire the asset-light commercial passenger transport activities of three urban air mobility operators in Europe: Monacair SAM, Héli Sécurité and another leading helicopter operator in the South of France.

Blade will also develop branded passenger terminals at multiple airports and vertiports in France, Monaco and Switzerland utilized by the Air Carriers. The Air Carriers’ April year-to-date charter business revenues and flight hours were each approximately 30% above the same period in 2019 as the post-pandemic recovery in travel has been strong in the region.

Damien Mazaudier, Monacair’s CEO, will join Blade Europe’s Executive Director, Sabrina Barbera, and Blade Europe’s Executive Vice President of Business Development, Anne-Pascale Guedon, overseeing the transition of the Air Carriers’ passenger businesses to Blade and will have an important role in launching Blade’s European services. This executive team will also manage key personnel who have been running the day-to-day commercial operations of the Air Carriers and will now continue to do so for Blade. “These three acquisitions are core to our strategy of leveraging our asset-light model to aggregate the premier use cases for urban air mobility. As a result, Blade has now amassed what we believe to be the most valuable routes in the world. Adding this formidable presence in Europe to our existing operations across the greater New York area, Vancouver and India, is a critical step in our expansion,” said Rob Wiesenthal, Chief Executive Officer of Blade.

“Blade’s powerful global platform, technology and brand together with Monacair’s strong operating history, aircraft management business, strategic infrastructure and customer trust is an unbeatable combination that will amplify urban air mobility in Europe. On behalf of the Casiraghi family, we fully support and look forward to the European launch of Blade’s commercial services commencing this month with the Monaco Grand Prix,” said Marco Casiraghi, Co-Founder of Monacair. Blade’s President, Melissa Tomkiel, added, “Blade continues to cement its position as the world’s leader in urban air mobility with the addition of these routes in Southern France, Monaco, Italy and Switzerland, which, given the geography, short distances and large addressable markets serve as the perfect first-use cases for quiet and emission-free EVA. Our European expansion would not be possible without these trusted operating partners who have safely and profitably flown hundreds of thousands of fliers for over 30 years.” “These acquisitions should contribute free cash flow on day one, accelerating our timeline to profitability while generating a great return on investment today that will only be enhanced by the future introduction of Electric Vertical Aircraft,” said Will Heyburn, Chief Financial Officer of Blade. “Blade will now have unmatched scale in European urban air mobility, further diversifying our overall business.”

Transaction Highlights: Blade will simultaneously acquire the asset-light commercial activities of Monacair, Héli Sécurité and a third prominent European helicopter operator for a total cash outlay of €48mm (US$50mm). Blade to become the exclusive customer of the Air Carriers, offering Blade branded charter and by-the-seat services in Europe. Pro forma for this acquisition in 2019, Blade would have flown approximately 260,000 fliers spanning three continents, solidifying its position as the largest global urban air mobility company. Combination should immediately contribute free cash flow, driven by flight margins above Blade’s historical company average, considerably accelerating Blade’s path to profitability. Blade will collaborate with the Air Carriers to expand routes for additional key European markets, pursue vertiport development opportunities, and explore integration of Electric Vertical Aircraft for Blade flights in Europe. Transaction is expected to close by Summer 2022, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.

PRESS RELEASE – Rome  23 May 2022

  • Orders for six helicopters in UK, Germany and Italy, including three AW109 GrandNew, one AW109 Trekker and two AW139s, with deliveries in 2022 and 2023 
  • With a 45% share over the last ten years, Leonardo is the world leader in the twin-engine VIP/corporate helicopter market
  • Over 900 VIP helicopters in service worldwide today, 35% of them based in Europe, the world’s largest commercial helicopter market
  • EBACE 2022 marks the first exhibition introducing the new Agusta VIP brand with initial services

Leonardo’s leadership in the world’s VIP/corporate multiengine helicopter market continues to grow with new orders announced today at EBACE 2022 (Geneva 23-25 May), including three AW109 GrandNew light twin, one AW109 Trekker and two AW139 intermediate twin helicopters with deliveries in UK, Italy and Germany in 2022 and 2023. 

Official distributor for UK & Ireland Sloane Helicopters ordered three AW109 GrandNew with deliveries expected in the second half of 2023, adding to the three aircraft of the same model purchased in early March. Leonardo has a long-established presence as the number one manufacturer of multi-engine VIP helicopters in UK and Ireland. This long-term success was evidenced through the launch of the partnership with local company Sloane Helicopters in 1995, which became the sole distributor of Leonardo VIP/corporate helicopter in the UK and Ireland. Under this collaboration, more than 90 Leonardo commercial helicopters have been delivered to operators and private users in the UK and Ireland.  

Jeremy Awenat, Managing Director Sloane Helicopter, said “We are very proud to have been Leonardo’s UK and Ireland Distributor and Service Centre for the past 27 years, with a close partnership that is further strengthening.  Sloane is focussed on delivering 12 new aircraft to our customers in the next 18 month period, consolidating Leonardo’s position as the leading helicopter manufacturer in the VIP/corporate market.”

This latest contract confirms the success of the AW109 series in the region as Leonardo and Sloane promote the recent launch of the new Agusta VIP brand in the region, also presented at Punchestown Festival in Ireland. The AW109 GrandNew success is evidenced by the introduction of a brand new aircraft into the Saxonair fleet under an agreement with Sloane and announced at EBACE, further strengthening its charter operations already carried out with GrandNew and AW119Kx aircraft. Established in 2007 and headquartered in Norwich, Saxonair is a prime player in the delivery of aircraft and helicopter charter services in UK and Europe. Nearly 260 AW109 GrandNew light twins have been ordered in the global market out of a total of over 1700 AW109 series units sold in years for all missions, confirming the AW109 as the most popular aircraft in its class thanks to unmatched performance, cabin space and technology. One AW109 Trekker in VIP configuration has recently been sold to a private operator in Germany marking the introduction of this model in this country, with delivery planned at the end of this year. 

The bestselling AW139 continues to expand its presence in the European VIP/corporate market. Two private operators, one in Germany and one in Italy, have placed orders for one AW139 each with deliveries expected by early 2023. The German order marks the entrance of the type in the national VIP/corporate market following the success of this model for other applications in Germany. The order in Italy grows the presence of the AW139 in the country also for this application adding to a fleet of more than 40 VIP twin engine helicopters of various models also including the AW109 series and the AW169, confirming Leonardo’s leadership in the Italian VIP/corporate multiengine market. Moreover, an AW139 has recently been delivered to Alan Allmann Associates in France, based at Issy les Moulineaux Heliport. Alan Allman Associates is an ecosystem of consulting firms specialised in digital transformation. With offices in Europe and North America, its companies are divided into three areas of expertise: High Tech, Industrial Transformation & Strategy. 

There are approximately 150 AW139s performing private transport, charter and scheduled services, VVIP/Government transport globally today. Operators leverage outstanding performance in all environments with long range/higher payload, the most spacious, unobstructed cabin in the intermediate category allowing modularity and a number of tailored layout solutions for seating and equipment, latest certification and safety standards and advanced navigation technology.  

With a 45% share over the last ten years, Leonardo is the world leader in the twin-engine VIP/corporate helicopter market including private, charter and VVIP/Government transport services, thanks to the most modern and largest product range featuring state-of-art avionic and navigation systems along with class leading performance, safety and comfort standards. More than 900 Leonardo VIP/corporate helicopters are flying today globally, over 35% of which based in Europe, the world’s largest commercial helicopter market. Based on the company’s long-established and distinctive design, technology and service philosophy and values in the executive transport sphere, Leonardo recently launched the Agusta brand to embody its unique experience and excellence for future VIP market initiatives. EBACE also marks the first aviation exhibition where the new Agusta brand is introduced combined with a range of new VIP-related services.  


Airbus Corporate Helicopters (ACH) has committed to continuing production of the ACH130 Aston Martin Edition after selling out almost the entire initial production run faster than expected.

The distinctive and stylish helicopter is a special version of the ACH130 featuring a range of interior and exterior designs created by Aston Martin which has captivated the imagination of helicopter owners who appreciate the thrill of piloting and the pleasure of driving luxury sports cars. It is on display at booth Z43.

Little more than two years after launch ACH has sold all but one of the 15 helicopters covered by its initial production commitment. Orders have come from across the world including South East Asia, Europe, Latin America, New Zealand and North America.

Now ACH has decided to commit to producing another 15 examples to address the continuing interest in the ACH130 Aston Martin Edition.

Head of ACH Frederic Lemos said: “There’s no question that bringing together our values of excellence and quality with Aston Martin’s commitment to high-performance automotive ellegance has resulted in a helicopter that always excites customers. But we really did not imagine that the market would move so fast, so I’m delighted to be able to commit to these future production slots and I look forward to talking to interested customers at EBACE.”

Aston Martin’s Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman added: “As an ultra-luxury brand, Aston Martin is passionate about collaborating with designers and engineers from other disciplines to create special products that represent both our brand values and design ethos. We are delighted with the high interest in the ACH130 Aston Martin Edition and look forward to continuing our fantastic relationship with ACH.”

PRESS RELEASE – Rome  23 May 2022

  • The centre will be located at Paris-Le Bourget Airport and began operations in April, providing support for the AW109, AW169 and AW139 
  • Future plans include the AW189 and the Agusta brand VIP services 
  • More than 90 helicopter services centers in over 40 countries worldwide 

Leonardo announced today a further expansion of its helicopter customer support and training services in Europe with the establishment of a service center, headquartered at Paris-Le Bourget Airport.

The new service center has already begun operations in mid-April and will act in strict coordination with Leonardo Belgium Logistics Hub, supporting the growing fleet of Leonardo commercial and public service helicopters in France and Central Europe. 

The new service center covers a 2000+ m2 indoor area, including maintenance and repair hangar and offices with the capability to serve the AW109 series, AW169 and AW139 types in Central Europe and will add the AW189 in the future. The service center will provide support for the VIP/corporate helicopter fleet, which has proven increasingly successful in this part of Europe in recent years and keeps growing, adding more customer services under the new Agusta VIP brand with a dedicated area. 

More than 900 Leonardo VIP/corporate helicopters are flying today globally, over 35% of which based in Europe, the world’s largest commercial helicopter market. With a 45% share over the last ten years, Leonardo is the world leader in the twin-engine VIP/corporate helicopter market including private, charter and VVIP/Government transport services, thanks to the most modern and largest product range featuring state-of-art avionic and navigation systems and class leading performance, safety and comfort standards. Based on the company’s long-established and distinctive design, technology and service philosophy and values in the executive transport sphere, in October 2021 Leonardo launched the Agusta brand to embody its unique experience and excellence for future VIP market initiatives. 

The opening of the new service center in Paris, a crucial area for civil and VIP helicopter operations, demonstrates Leonardo’s long-term commitment in the region and aligns to Leonardo’s focus on stronger support services and proximity. Enhanced services will help maximize the helicopter fleet’s mission effectiveness and safety for the benefit of operators, crews and the served communities. With more than 90 service centers in over 40 countries worldwide, Leonardo is committed to providing leading, comprehensive support and training services to deliver unprecedented benefits to operators in terms of safety, quality, effectiveness, cost, and sustainability as a cornerstone of Leonardo’s Be Tomorrow 2030 Strategic Plan.

After several years, the fuselage of the Alouette III s/n 1390, that was flying in Italy as I-AIRU, appeared in the Netherlands.

The airframe and several parts were acquired from the Alouette Museum Barneveld with the aim of restore the helicopter to his original A-390 [Netherland Air Force] status.

Photo © by: Henk BRUL / via Alouette Museum Barneveld

The helicopter was bought with an Astazou engine installed, the same engine originally installed on the SA319B serie (as visible on above image).

Photo © by: Dick BREUR / via Alouette Museum Barneveld

The tail boom from another Aouette III was installed (former YR-ELC) … and restoration works will continue.

Please visit the Museum Online pages for more info and details about this project.


… proudly by BABYLO Team

BABYLO AVIATION PAINTING NEWS … Final view of Airbus Helicopters H125 I-LRJR, ready for delivery to Air Corporate after the paint job was completed.