Agustawestland, Bristow sign new AW609 deal
March 4, 2015 By AgustaWestland
March 4, 2015, Orlando, Fla. - AgustaWestland and Bristow announced today the signing of a platform development agreement for the AW609 TiltRotor program. The announcement was made at Heli-Expo (Orlando, FL) on the occasion of the ‘on static’ public premiere of a real AW609 aircraft at the US exhibition, featuring a dedicated Bristow/Eastern Airways paint scheme.
The development agreement envisages AgustaWestland and Bristow working closely on a number of activities in support of AW609 program development addressing concepts around operations, regulations, maintenance, configuration optimization, as well as identifying possible areas of enhancement or modifications.
Under the agreement, AgustaWestland and Bristow will work to support the development of oil & gas and search and rescue dedicated configurations and capabilities. The companies would provide contribution to flying activities towards aircraft maturity and to address commercial aspects for future AW609 acquisitions.
The signing of this agreement sets a major milestone for the development of the first commercial tiltrotor towards FAA certification, which is expected to be achieved in 2017. This exclusive agreement further strengthens the long established partnership between AgustaWestland and Bristow, a prime global operator of the AW139 and the AW189 covering offshore transport and SAR operational requirements. By joining forces through their respective expertise and know-how, AgustaWestland and Bristow are moving towards a marketing and operational preparation stage as the AW609 program enters its industrialization phase.
As demand for integrated point-to-point transportation grows, Bristow has made strategic investments in Airnorth and Eastern Airways, combining fixed wing and helicopter transportation into a one-stop solution for customers. The agreement to further develop the potential capabilities of the AW609 marks a significant step towards the production of one aircraft type that will provide an ideal transportation solution for offshore travel in the future.
“We see tremendous opportunities for this aircraft for our clients who are flying to more remote and hostile environments,” said Bristow President and CEO Jonathan Baliff. “With its vertical lift and landing capabilities combined with increased speed, extended range and airline-style amenities, Bristow will be able to provide more value to clients by offering complete logistics solutions with one aircraft type that will take them faster and farther offshore.”