AgustaAgustaWestland) is an Italian helicopter manufacturer. It is based in the Varese province of Italy, with its main manufacturing plant being at Cascina Costa. It is a subsbidiary of Finmeccanica.
The company was founded by Giovanni Agusta, who flew his first airplane in 1907.
Starting in 1923, the company first designed, produced and maintained fixed wing aircraft at its plant in Cascina Costa.
The company also had ambitions to design and build its own helicopters. The Agusta A101G and the Agusta A106 can be considered the best of its earlier attempts.
The Agusta A109 has undoubtedly been the company's biggest success. The A109 is a commercial and military twin turbine helicopter, of which the latest variants are still in production, hundreds having already been sold.
In 1983 the Agusta A129 Mangusta anti-tank helicopter first flew. It was the first attack helicopter to be designed and produced wholly in Europe. Unfortunately this helicopter has not been a great commercial success, the type being only in service with the Italian Air Force.
The 1980s saw the start of several collaborative projects for Agusta:
- In 1981 Agusta and Westland of Britain started the AgustaWestland EH101 medium-lift naval helicopter project in order to satisfy the requirements of the Royal Navy and the Italian Navy.
- In 1985 the company started a collaborative programme with the aeronautic industries of France, Germany and the Netherlands in order to develop and produce the NHI NH90, a 9-ton twin engine multi-role medium helicopter in order to satisfy the requirements of their respective countriesÒ armed forces.
- In 1994, the Agusta A109 Power
- In 1995, the Agusta A129 International
- In 1997, the Agusta A119 Koala
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