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Farnborough 2018: Norway rolls on with AW101 acceptance

18th July 2018 - 12:00 GMT | by Ashley Roque in Farnborough

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Leonardo is continuing to deliver its AW101 Norwegian All-Weather SAR Helicopter (NAWSARH) to the Arctic nation and expecting to repair the aircraft damaged last year.

While showing off the aircraft at this year's Farnborough International Airshow, company spokesman Geoff Russell told reporters that four aircraft have been delivered to date with another two slated to be handed over later this year. The remaining ten NAWSARHs, he noted, will be delivered in 2019 and 2020.

'There is no indication of any problem in the aircraft,' Russell added. 

During a maintenance ground run at Sola Air Base in 2017, the first delivered aircraft rolled over on its starboard side. Both Norwegian Joint Headquarters and Leonardo confirmed 'significant damage' had been caused to the aircraft as a result of the incident. 

'The aircraft has been surveyed, it is repairable and it's likely that aircraft will come back to [Leonardo's] Yeovil factory to be repaired,' Russell told reporters. 

He noted that Norway has investigated the accident but a final report has yet to be issued. In the meantime, though, Norway has accepted delivery of an additional three aircraft and is flying them under an operational test and evaluation period.

Developed by Westland and Agusta (now Leonardo), the AW101 is a three-engined medium helicopter (previously known as the EH101). There are three basic variants — utility, naval and civil. Although it was originally designed for militaries, Leonardo is now promoting the aircraft for civil and public service sectors. 

For the Norwegian version, the first 16 aircraft will have an identical configuration and plans call for two aircraft to be stationed at six different bases around the country. The remaining four aircraft will be set aside for training and maintenance purposes. 

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