AgustaWestland to establish final assembly line for AW169 in Philadelphia
The first Philadelphia-built AW169 helicopter will be delivered in early 2015, as has been announced by AgustaWestland.
The new production line will ramp up to produce around 20 aircraft per year by 2017. AgustaWestland’s facilities in Vergiate (Italy) and Yeovil (UK) will also play major roles in the manufacturing activities for the AW169 programme.
William Hunt, CEO, AgustaWestland Philadelphia said: “This is an exciting day for the team. As a major producer of commercial helicopters in the United States, we are pleased to further expand our production portfolio to include the AW169. The arrival of the AW169 production line will secure and create jobs here in Philadelphia and within our supply chain in North America. We have been in Philadelphia for over 30 years and have realized tremendous growth in servicing and supporting the commercial helicopter market over the past 10 years.”
Hunt added: “The AW169 has generated an exceptionally good response in the market place since its launch securing orders for more than 80 aircraft. As the only new generation helicopter in its class for more than 30 years we believe it will be a great success and we are proud that the AW169 will be assembled in Philadelphia for our customers in the United States and around the world.”
More than 80 AW169 helicopters have now been ordered for a wide range of missions including corporate transport, air ambulance, law enforcement, utility and offshore transport. With all four prototypes already flying, the AW169 is on schedule to achieve civil certification in 2014.
AgustaWestland Philadelphia is the US branch of AgustaWestland which was established in 1981. The facility includes final assembly lines for the AW119Kx and AW139 helicopters, a parts supply depot for the Americas and a fully approved FAA and JAA repair station. AgustaWestland Philadelphia is also a delivery center for AW109 Power and GrandNew aircraft.