October 2015

2015 OctoberAgusta A.101G
First flight: October 19, 1964

Following World War II, the production of aircraft in Italy was prohibited; it was because of this ruling that the Italian motorcycles and cars emerged so successfully.

The Agusta Company produced motor cycles with spectacular results, but when the aviation ban was lifted in 1952; Dominico Agusta immediately consummated a licence to build Bell helicopters.

By 1958, Agusta was producing and selling Bell 47s, and subsequently extending the arrangement to include the JetRanger and Bell 212 designs, the result was that Agusta built up a strong design team. In 1958, having produced a number of their own designs, the company embarked upon the ambitious A.101 project. It was to be a large transport helicopter, of conventional construction, powered by three Rolls-Royce Gnome engines, and intended to carry 35 troops, with the aircraft at operating at a maximum all-up weight of 12,900 kg (28,455 lb). The A.101G was first flown in October 1964; the configuration was remarkably similar to that of the EH101.

The sole prototype completed over 400 hours flying and production plans were in hand for the A101H powered by three General Electric T58 turbines, but it was eventually decided that it would not be competitive with other contemporary designs and the program was abandoned in 1971. 

(AgustaWestland photo; text by David Gibbings)

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