Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Agustawestland and Boeing join forces for VXX proposal

Deja Vu - the AW101 is back in the running for the presidential VXX helicopter program - this time with a new US partner Boeing instead of the original VH-71 partnership with Lockheed Martin.

The official Agustawestland press release starts....

Finmeccanica Announces AgustaWestland Agreement with Boeing for U.S. President’s Helicopter

Today, Finmeccanica announced an AgustaWestland agreement with the Boeing Company for the
U.S. Navy’s Marine One presidential helicopter program (VXX). Boeing secured the rights to use AgustaWestland intellectual property, data and production rights to integrate the AW101 into a Boeing product for the VXX program. AgustaWestland will keep a role in developing the programme and will be awarded a significant part of the basic helicopter production.

The birth of the "Boeing 101"

See official Agustawestland press release relating to Boeing and VXX


Monday, 7 June 2010

Boeing offers the AW101 for VXX

In a strange twist Boeing have announced today 7th June 2010 that it has secured all rights to the Agustawestland AW101 design  - this design was of course used by the Lockheed Martin / Agustawestland VH-71 project.

A press statement from Boeing starts,

RIDLEY PARK, Pa., June 7, 2010 -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] announced today that it will secure a license from AgustaWestland for U.S. production of the AW101 medium-lift helicopter as an entry into the U.S. Navy VXX Presidential Helicopter Program. This license will give Boeing full intellectual property, data and production rights for the aircraft in support of the VXX program. Because of this arrangement, the aircraft will be a Boeing aircraft, built by Boeing personnel at one of its U.S. facilities. The company will submit information regarding this aircraft in response to the Navy's current Request for Information by the June 18 deadline.

Click here to read the full Boeing press release on the AW101

So what the existing VH-71 helicopters already built by Agustawestland whilst partnered to Lockheed Martin - will these exisitng airframes be acquired by Boeing to assist the re-development of the AW101 from the VH-71 to the VXX ?

Or will these nine low hour airfames linger and gather dust in the darkened corner of  hangers at Patuxant River & Owego ??

I would welcome any update that can be provided on the current status and whereabouts  of the VH-71 development aircraft, TV-2 through TV-5 and PP-1 through PP-5 - thank you.