Air Transportation: Bits And Pieces


November 1, 2012: The Thailand Army has ordered two AW139 transport helicopters, for about $27 million each. These eight ton choppers carry up to 15 passengers and can get by with just one pilot. Cruise speed is 288 kilometers an hour and endurance averages 3.2 hours. The AW149, a military version of the AW139, is also available but is more expensive. The AW139 competes with the U.S. UH-60 and another European helicopter, the slightly larger NH90. The AW139 is made by Agusta Westland, a division of the Italian firm Finmeccanica. Thailand has been trying to replace its aging force of helicopters for the last decade. This has led to the purchase of new American, European, and Russian helicopters, depending on who is offering the best deal at the moment. 

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