AgustaWestland was created by the merging of two helicopter companies with long and rich histories dating back to the formative days of aviation manufacturing in the early 20th Century. Agusta’s and Westland’s pedigree as helicopter manufacturers dates back to the 1950s when both Companies took strategic decisions to move into rotary wing aircraft production.
Agusta and Westland first collaborated in the 1960s, when Westland started licence production of the Agusta AB47G, better known as the “Sioux”. Starting in 1964, Westland built 250 of these small helicopters at Yeovil.
The relationship between Agusta and Westland evolved for more than 20 years through collaboration on the development and production of the 16-ton multi-role EH101. This association provided the platform which enabled the two Companies to conclude a rapid and effective integration when Finmeccanica S.p.A. of Italy and GKN plc of the UK signed the agreement for the formation of a 50 : 50 joint venture company named AgustaWestland in 2001. In December, 2004 Finmeccanica acquired GKN’s 50 per cent stake in AgustaWestland.
A significant event in the Company’s history took place in early 2010 with the acquisition of the majority of the Polish helicopter manufacturer PZL-Swidnik, bringing together one of Europe’s original helicopter manufacturers. With the acquisition of PZL-Świdnik AgustaWestland has expand its presence in central Europe, strengthened its global industrial footprint and broadened its product range.