Photo courtesy of Gian Marco Anzellotti / CC BY 2.0
On Jan. 1, the legendary names Agusta and Westland begin to move from the rolls of active helicopter manufacturers to those of historic ones.
Parent company Finmeccanica is completing its 18-month process of centralizing and integrating the operations of its diverse aerospace, defense and security units into one organization that will be run in a “more consistent, cohesive and efficient” fashion, according to the company. The “one company” shift began shortly after Italy’s government named Mauro Moretti in early 2014 as Finmeccanica’s CEO with the mandate of stabilizing after bribery investigations had led to the departure of two CEOs since 2011.
The change marks the end of AgustaWestland as the name of the company’s vertical-lift manufacturer. Going forward, that unit will be called Finmeccanica-Helicopters.
Giovanni Agusta established the Italian aircraft manufacturer that bore his name in 1923 in Samarate, near Milan. Westland began 100 years ago in Yeovil, England, as an aircraft manufacturing division of Petters Limited. In 2000, the companies were merged to form the AgustaWestland partnership of Finmeccanica and Westland parent GKN. Finmeccanica took full control of that unit in 2004.