Bell/Agusta has unveiled a VIP-configured AB139 for the first time at Paris 2001.

The aircraft can be configured either with four or six seats. The craft on display at the show has an Italian leather interior, a video screen, 'live mapping' screen and foldaway desk-space among its features.

Bell/Agusta is hoping that its display of both civil and military versions of the twin helicopter will help drum up more business.


Meanwhile, the company is stepping up development work on the aircraft with an additional two prototypes almost ready to join the flight test programme.

A second prototype will fly within weeks and Bell/Agusta is converting a ground test vehicle to add to the programme. The ground test vehicle was the first AB139 airframe to be built and has passed the 150h mark in dynamic testing.


The US-Italian team is pursuing an extremely challenging development schedule and aims to win US Federal Aviation Administration and Italian approval by late 2002.

Source: Flight Daily News