EH101 - a helicopter for the Future
The EH101 (now the AgustaWestland AW101) has been developed jointly
by Westland Helicopters of the UK and by Agusta of Italy.
In early 2001 the two companies were combined, to become AgustaWestland, and in 2004 it was announced that GKN was selling its stake in AgustaWestland to the Italian company Finmeccanica.
This advanced helicopter equips the
Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force in the anti-submarine, rescue, and utility roles.
The naval version, the Merlin HM1/HM2, commenced operations with the Royal Navy's intensive flying trials unit at RNAS Culdrose, when 700M Squadron formed in December 1998. The first transport versions, the Merlin HC3, were handed over to the Royal Air Force at RAF Benson in March 2001.
The American built version of the EH101 is designated the US101 and was selected
by the US Navy in 2005 for a new fleet of helicopters (as the VH-71) for the President of the United States of
America, to replace the existing fleet of VH-3D variants of the Sikorsky Sea King. However, the contract was
cancelled in 2009 in favour of a programme to upgrade to the existing Presidential fleet of VH-3D and VH-60N helicopters.
The civil version of the EH101 - the Heliliner - offers a cabin configuration of up to 40 seats and a 150 knot cruise.
The civil EH101 demonstrator (PP8 - G-OIOI / ZJ116) was flown to Penzance in May 1994 as part of the anniversary marking thirty years of the helicopter service and again in May 1999, when flights to St Mary's and Tresco were made.
Details of the type's specification are shown in the table on the helicopters page.
text and EH101 photograph © Mike Ingham
Aquila: British International
this page last updated 10 November 2012
© HFM Design
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