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.

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