From 1952 the company got involved in helicopter manufacturing, first building Bell helicopters under licence, but later Sikorsky, Boeing and McDonnell Douglas products as well. The company also had ambitions to design and build its own helicopters. The Agusta A.101 and the Agusta A.106 can be considered the best of its earlier attempts. Others included the AB.102, A.103, A.104, and A.115. It also produced a small line of aero engines such as the GA.70 and GA.140.
Developed in the 1970s, the Agusta A109 has undoubtedly been the company's biggest success. The A109 is a commercial and military twin turbine helicopter, of which the latest variants are still in production, hundreds having already been sold.
In 1983 the Agusta A129 Mangusta anti-tank helicopter partook in its first official flight engagement. It was the first attack helicopter to be designed and produced in Western Europe. However, this helicopter has been a limited commercial success so far, seeing service with the Italian Army, and only now has a modernized variant being developed for the Turkish Army.
The 1980s saw the start of several collaborative projects for Agusta. In 1981 Agusta and Westland of Britain started the EH101 medium-lift naval helicopter project in order to satisfy the requirements of the Royal Navy and the Italian Navy. In 1985 the company started a collaborative programme with the aeronautic industries of France, Germany and the Netherlands in order to develop and produce the NHI NH90, a nine-ton twin engine multi-role medium helicopter in order to satisfy the requirements of their respective countries’ armed forces.