A team of experts from Italian-based helicopter maker AgustaWestland has been stationed at Muskegon County Airport in Michigan since November, taking advantage of the area's snowy winter in developing a midsize chopper to handle harsh conditions. Many large and military helicopters can fly in icy conditions, but the smaller ones usually cannot, and research on the company's AW 139 has been focused on how to properly heat the helicopter's blades to melt ice.

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