Leonardo Helicopters NEWS

Leonardo Helicopters [AgustaWestland/Finmeccanica] NEWS, Press Releases, Images … and not only

ITALIAN ROTORS 
ITALIAN HELICOPTER REGISTER NEWS 
Leonardo Helicopters AW169 ( c/n 69093 ) I-WNDA
ITALIAN ROTORS 
ITALIAN HELICOPTER REGISTER NEWS 
Leonardo Helicopters AW169 ( c/n 69098 ) I-WNDB

Thanks to Luigi PISANO and Massimo ANDREINA for these unique images of the two Leonardo Helicopters AW169 ( c/n 69093 ) I-WNDA and ( c/n 69098 ) I-WNDB operated by Weststar NDD Srl … during their delivery flight via Milan Malpensa, August 2019.

Leonardo: Wiking signs 30 million euro contract for two AW139 helicopters to enhance offshore transport capabilities in Northern Europe.

  • Latest order adds to a four unit AW139 fleet; deliveries expected between 2019 and 2020
  • The AW139 is the aircraft of choice for demanding overseas operations in Northern Europe and worldwide
  • Over 1100 AW139s have been ordered by more than 270 customers in over 70 nations to date

Paris, 19 June 2019 – Leonardo announced today the signing of a contract valued at 30 million euro for two AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopters with Wiking Helikopter Service GmbH of Germany. The aircraft, which are expected to be delivered in 2019 and 2020, will be used to perform offshore transport operations in Northern Europe, further expanding the AW139 fleet of Wiking which already operates four helicopters in the region.

Wiking has been an offshore transport specialist in the North and Baltic Sea areas for over 43 years. The Company also performs sea pilots transfer, windmill engineer hoisting service and emergency medical service operations. This latest AW139 contract provides more evidence of the unrivalled mission capabilities, operational efficiency and reliability of the world’s most successful type in its category to carry out demanding missions overseas. The AW139 fleet augmentation programme will allow Wiking to meet the evolving requirements of its clients.

The AW139 has proven extremely popular in the region for offshore, search and rescue, passenger transport and law enforcement duties. The type set new standards in terms of flight and mission technology, cabin space and comfort, performance, safety and reliability as well as introducing advanced support, maintenance and training services. The AW139 is even exceeding the evolving Oil&Gas market’s stringent requirements with unique features including a 60+ minutes run dry capable main gear box and full or limited ice protection system as an option to fly in known icing conditions for true all weather operations. Over 1100 AW139s have been ordered by more than 270 customers in more than 70 nations to date for any kind of mission. The global fleet has amassed over 2.3 million flight hours and the 1000th aircraft will be delivered this year.

Leonardo: Italian National Fire Corps expands AW139 helicopter fleet with €75 million order.

  • Contracts for five more AW139s add to the initial three-unit order, with two already delivered this year
  • Italy aims to progressively replace their decades-old AB412 helicopters with modern AW139s for disaster relief, firefighting and airborne rescues
  • 61 AW139s ordered by the Italian Government for public services to date; over 270 customers from around 70 nations have already ordered over 1100 AW139s

Paris, 18 June 2019 – Leonardo announced new signed contracts for five additional AW139s to the Italian National Fire Corps (Vigili del Fuoco, part of Ministry of the Interior), including integrated logistic support and training for crews and technicians. The orders, valued at over €75 million, add to the previously purchased three units, with two already delivered this year. The five new helicopters are expected to be delivered in June 2020.

The Italian National Fire Corps intends to progressively replace the decades-old AB412s helicopters and to guarantee optimal coverage and increased responsiveness across the country. Indeed, the introduction of the AW139 marks a major enhancement of airborne multirole capabilities with the world’s most modern helicopter for maritime and mountain Search and Rescue (SAR), medical rescue, firefighting and disaster relief duties. The fleet modernization programme includes an option for seven additional helicopters which could be added to the eight already ordered.

Over 816,000 rescues and sorties are performed every year countering fires across Europe, including many in Italy. The Italian National Fire Corps AW139 helicopters feature a wide range of mission equipment, including an external rescue hoist, cargo hook with bambi bucket provision, weather radar, multi-band and satellite communication systems, high definition Forward Looking Infra-Red / Low Light TV (FLIR/LLTV) system, Leonardo’s high definition mission console with digital recorder, high definition down link, Leonardo’s Optical Proximity LiDAR System (OPLS), Night Vision Goggle (NGV) capability, new generation Trakka searchlight, emergency floatation system and external life rafts, external loudspeaker, medical rack and bubble windows. The aircraft also feature an advanced 4-axis autopilot perfectly suited for SAR operations, including over the sea.

ITALIAN ROTORS 
Leonardo Helicopters AW169 ( c/n 69095 ) [CSX81962], MM81962 / GF-501

Thanks to Simone PREVIDI and Max NOVE for these new images of the very first Leonardo Helicopters AW169 that will be operated by Guardia di Finanza … the helicopter is currently wearing the test registration CSX81962 and the code GF-501, together with the new GdiF livery already apperaed on AW139 GF-413 few days ago.

Leonardo: Sloane signs contract for two additional AW109s and renews Distributorship Agreement in UK.

  • Distributorship Agreement renewal signed with Sloane for the AW109 GrandNew, AW109 Trekker and AW169 in UK and Ireland foresees at least eight new sales by 2021
  • Leonardo is the world’s leading manufacturer in the VIP multiengine helicopter market with a 40% share; largest producer of corporate helicopters flying in UK
  • Combined orders for over 450 Grand/GrandNew and Trekker aircraft placed by customers worldwide to date

Geneva, 22 May 2019 – As the world’s leading manufacturer in the VIP multiengine helicopter market with a 40% share and the largest producer of corporate helicopters flying in UK, Leonardo is further growing its presence in this sector with the announcement of a further renewal of the Distributorship Agreement in UK and Ireland with its key partner Sloane Helicopters (Sloane). The agreement covers the AW109 GrandNew, AW109 Trekker and AW169 types over the period 2019-2021. Under the Distributorship Agreement, Sloane foresees the purchase of at least eight new helicopters by 2021, with a contract for an AW109 GrandNew and an AW109 Trekker in VIP configuration signed at EBACE. Leonardo is the world leader in the twin-engine VIP/corporate helicopter market including private, charter and VVIP/Government transport services, thanks to the most modern and largest product range featuring state-of-art avionic and navigation systems along with class leading performance, safety and comfort standards. Sloane said: “We are delighted and honoured to continue our close partnership with Leonardo Helicopters. The AW109 series and AW169 helicopters have consolidated their positions as the benchmark for helicopters in the corporate/VIP market. As the sole Distributor in the region for 24 years, Sloane Helicopters has an unrivalled understanding of customer requirements and continues to leverage this expertise by offering industry leading solutions throughout the sales process and after sales support.” The partnership with Sloane has led to the sale of nearly 80 aircraft to date. Following the outstanding success of earlier variants of the AW109 and the AW109 GrandNew, the new AW109 Trekker has more recently found success with three aircraft ordered in the region to date. The AW109 GrandNew and the AW109 Trekker share the same powerful engines, dynamics, the most spacious cabin and the best performance and maximum cruise speed in the light twin class, while featuring different digital core avionics and with retractable landing gear / skids respectively. Each provides customers with one more option depending on their specific operational requirements. Combined orders for over 450 Grand/GrandNew and Trekker helicopters have been placed by customers worldwide to date.

AIR FORCE MAGAZINE NEWS – 20 May 2019

Link to original online article by John A. TIRPAK / Air Force Magazine: http://airforcemag.com/Features/Pages/2019/May%202019/Boeing-Gearing-Up-for-MH-139-Test-Models-Production.aspx

The first MH-139 for the Air Force—which replaces the UH-1N Huey in the roles of nuclear missile field support, VIP transport, and some other missions—is in production at Agusta-Westland facilities north of St. Louis, Mo., and if there are no hiccups, it will fly by the end of the year, Boeing officials reported. The Agusta-Westland facility, part of Boeing’s major subcontractor, Leonardo, will assemble the fuselage, put on the rotors, and essentially build a civilian version of the aircraft, Rick Lemaster, company director of vertical lift marketing, told reporters in a briefing at Boeing’s Philadelphia, Pa., helicopter factory on May 16. It is then handed over to Boeing, which militarizes it for the Air Force’s unique missions. Boeing will convert the vanilla aircraft into an MH-139 by changing the baggage door compartment to “allow some special equipment to be installed” that the Air Force declines to identify. Defensive aids, such as flare dispensers and missile warning systems will be added, as will the machine gun mount and a “crashworthy, self-sealing fuel tank,” Lemaster explained.  Additionally, ballistic protection will be added to the floor and cockpit. Once complete, the aircraft will receive USAF certification and fly off to their duty station. Lemaster said the Air Force will likely “turn on production in the next year or two, and once that happens the company anticipates to deliver about 10 aircraft per year into the early 2030s. The numbers may vary, as USAF’s contract allows for more or less aircraft each year. The MH-139 is a $2.38 billion firm, fixed-price contract program, of which $375 million gets the ball rolling with engineering and manufacturing development. Although the Air Force quoted a figure of $1.7 billion in savings when it announced Boeing had won the UH-1N replacement contest last fall, Boeing’s number is more conservative, Lemaster said. “We said we could save $1 billion, in terms of overall life cycle costs, or compared to competitors. That was our calculation, between support cost and acquisition.” The big discriminator between Boeing and its chief rival, the Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky Blackhawk, was the fact that the Air Force didn’t need a larger, combat-capable aircraft, he said. “This aircraft is relatively easy to maintain compared to competitors,” Lemaster said. The MH-139 is “not as big and heavy as a Blackhawk,” which he called “a great capability, great in combat, but that’s not what the Air Force requirement was.” Boeing’s approach was to offer an aircraft that is “right-sized for the mission,” Lemaster asserted. The first two aircraft are to be delivered in late 2020. They will then enter a test program, and if all goes well, operational testing will be in 2022, followed by full-rate production in 2023. The Air Force will buy at least 84 MH-139s. Armed versions with an M240 machine gun externally mounted on the starboard side will be fielded by three Air Force Global Strike Command bases, each with 11 aircraft to rapidly respond to threats at missile fields and provide other support for the ICBM mission. Some 30 aircraft will be based at JB Andrews, Md., for VIP transport. Four aircraft each will support VIP and aeromedical evacuation missions at Yokota AB, Japan, and the Air Force survival, evasion, resistance, and escape school at Fairchild AFB, Wash. The MH-139 “schoolhouse” at Kirtland AFB, N.M., will get the remainder, minus the two initial aircraft, which will stay at Eglin AFB, Fla., for ongoing test of modifications and software.
Lemaster said the AW-139, on which the MH-139 is based, is in service with 250 customers in 70 nations, and the fleet has accumulated more than two million flight hours, “So it’s a very mature product,” allowing Boeing to quote fixed-price support costs. The Air Force plans to fly the aircraft 480 hours per year, each. The highest-time version of the aircraft has just reached 12,000 flight hours, so it will be a long time before the Air Force will need to think about the MH-139’s replacement, Lemaster said.
“There is no airframe life limit, so there’s no requirement to take it back to a depot and do modifications,” he noted. Having succeeded in running over an hour with no transmission oil—a “run dry” test, Lemaster said, “It’s just a very survivable aircraft.” Additionally, the helicopter has been certified for one pilot under instrument flight rules, meaning the service could optionally relax its two-pilot requirement down the road, he said. For ease of maintainability, the engine and transmission are above the cabin, and built-in foot stands allow preflight inspections without putting a hardstand next to the aircraft, he said. There’s “one contiguous open space” in the cabin, offering flexibility of use. Although the engines don’t have infrared suppressors, the exhaust heat is fairly low, without intense hotspots that would make a good infrared target. Lemaster said he thinks the first batch of aircraft will be a run of eight, but “there’s a lot of flexibility in the way the contract is structured, so they can add or subtract the quantity. We’ve given them firm pricing for all of those iterations, and they’ll buy what they want.”

Link to original online article by Air Force Magazine: http://airforcemag.com/Features/Pages/2019/May%202019/Boeing-Gearing-Up-for-MH-139-Test-Models-Production.aspx

Vigili del Fuoco – Photo Page by www.dgualdo.it
Vigili del Fuoco AW139s Delivery Cerimony Photo Report – by Damiano GUALDONI

Leonardo: Italy’s National Fire Corps receives first two AW139 helicopters, the backbone of the Country’s rescue and emergency response services.

  • The helicopters will carry out search and medical rescue, firefighting and disaster relief with enhanced operational effectiveness from all national bases. The first AW139 of the National Fire Corps is now entering service.
  • Replacing the AB412 fleet in the next few years, the AW139 has also been chosen by the Italian Air Force, Guardia di Finanza, State Police, Coast Guard and many EMS operators
  • The new helicopters feature latest generation avionics and sensors and firefighting and rescue equipment for operations in all conditions

Rome, 18 April, 2019 – With the delivery of the first two AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopters, Leonardo and the Italian National Fire Corps (Vigili del Fuoco, part of the Ministry of the Interior) announced a major step forward in strengthening their collaboration delivering advanced, more effective emergency response services in Italy. The event, celebrated during an official ceremony held at Leonardo’s Vergiate facility today in the presence of Government representatives and local authorities. The introduction of the AW139 marks a major enhancement of airborne multirole capabilities with the world’s most modern helicopter for maritime and mountain Search and Rescue (SAR), medical rescue, firefighting and disaster relief duties.

Vigili del Fuoco AW139s Delivery Cerimony Photo Report – by Damiano GUALDONI

Over 816,000 rescues and sorties are performed every year countering fires across Europe, including many in Italy, and the AW139s, planned to progressively replace the Italian National Fire Corps AB412s which have been in service for decades, will guarantee optimimal coverage and an even more rapid responsiveness across the country. The Italian National Fire Corps will receive a third AW139 this year under the €45 million contract signed in 2018. The contract also includes integrated logistic support and training for pilots and technicians, and encompasses an option for 12 additional helicopters. The first two helicopters will be based in Rome Ciampino for National Fire Corps personnel training.

Vigili del Fuoco AW139s Delivery Cerimony Photo Report – by Damiano GUALDONI

The backbone of the Country’s rescue services, the AW139 is also in service with the Italy’s Guardia di Finanza, State Police, Coast Guard and Air Force. The National Fire Corps AW139s feature a wide range of mission equipment, including an external rescue hoist, cargo hook with bambi bucket provision, weather radar, multi-band and satellite communication systems, high definition Forward Looking Infra-Red / Low Light TV (FLIR/LLTV) system, Leonardo’s high definition mission console with digital recorder, high definition down link, Leonardo’s Optical Proximity LiDAR System (OPLS), Night Vision Goggle (NVG) capability, new generation Trakka searchlight, emergency floatation system and external life rafts, external loudspeaker, medical rack and bubble windows.

Vigili del Fuoco AW139s Delivery Cerimony Photo Report – by Damiano GUALDONI

PRESS RELEASE – LANGKAWI, 27th March – Weststar Aviation Services, a leading regional offshore helicopter transportation services provider, and Leonardo signed a contract – valued at around 50 million euros – for three new-generation AW169 and two AW139 helicopters for offshore operations in West Africa and the Middle East.

The contract signing ceremony was held today at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) in the presence of the Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. The three AW169s helicopters will be for Weststar’s ExxonMobil & Noble contract in Equatorial Guinea while the two AW139s are for the Al-Khafji Joint Operations contract in Saudi Arabia, which is a joint venture between Kuwait Gulf Oil Company (KGOC) and Aramco Gulf Operations. “This procurement further strengthens the partnership between Weststar Aviation Services and Leonardo and is a key factor in Weststar’s overseas business expansion. The AW169 and the AW139 twin-engine helicopters are the most successful new generation models in their class worldwide, and the most demanded helicopter types in the Oil and Gas industry. We are pleased to purchase yet more helicopters from Leonardo to support our offshore helicopter operations and we will use the newly purchased helicopters for our operations in West Africa and the Middle East.“ said Tan Sri Dr. Syed Azman Syed Ibrahim, Group Managing Director of The Weststar Group.

Gian Piero Cutillo, Managing Director of Leonardo Helicopters, said: “Weststar is one of our most important helicopter customers worldwide and we are happy to confirm our leading position in the offshore market in the region. There are now over 60 Leonardo helicopters in Malaysia, where we have our regional Customer Support and Training hub, and we plan to increase our presence even further in the future by expanding the services we offer.”

Since commencing its operations in 2003, Weststar Aviation Services has grown to become one of the global key players in the offshore helicopter industry. To date, Weststar Aviation Services operates a total of 33 AW139, AW169 and AW189 helicopters out of its bases in Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.

The AW139 and AW169 are part of Leonardo’s Family of new generation helicopters that also includes the AW189. These models are ideal for passenger transport, EMS and SAR missions. Leonardo has a long-standing presence in Malaysia with a large fleet of helicopters – both commercial and military – defence, security and airport systems.

  • AW189s recently delivered to Malaysian and Seoul Fire Departments with Japan to follow
  • Leonardo AW139, AW169 and AW189 rapidly becoming a standard for emergency management in Asia
  • Asia Pacific is the fastest growing market for helicopters globally and Leonardo is well positioned thanks to its range of new generation helicopters

Rome, 25 March 2019 – With deliveries across Asia Pacific the Leonardo AW189 super medium helicopter is becoming the leader in the firefighting market. The Malaysia Fire and Rescue Department (Jabatan Bomba dan Penyelamat Malaysia) and Korea’s Seoul Fire Department are beginning operations with their AW189s and will soon be followed by the Tokyo Fire Department. Asia Pacific is the region with the strongest growth prospects for all of Leonardo’s aerospace and defence capabilities. In the helicopter sector, public utility operations such as firefighting, search and rescue and disaster relief capabilities are quickly growing and Leonardo is successfully targeting the requirements with the AW139, AW169 and AW189 helicopters. These models join an already impressive fleet of Leonardo helicopters across countries in the region with Malaysia, South Korea, Japan and Australia being markets where Leonardo is leading in many sectors.

Leonardo was the world’s number one civil helicopter manufacturer in terms of value in 2018 with a 40% market share, a 7% increase on 2017.

Leonardo continues to play a major role in the Malaysian helicopter market expanding its presence and increasing its capabilities through a continued plan of investment. With a regional hub for Customer Support and Training near Kuala Lumpur, Leonardo has been present in the region for many years with hundreds of helicopters performing missions such as offshore and passenger transport, utility, homeland security, law enforcement, search and rescue, emergency medical services, maritime patrol, military naval roles and armed reconnaissance. Additionally, Leonardo is providing a range of security and defence capabilities to the Malaysian government and products, such as air traffic control systems to commercial customers.

Leonardo is deploying a global campaign for the world’s first multirole commercial tiltrotor.

  • Leonardo and Nakanihon Air Service sign an MoU to evaluate tiltrotor operations in Japan for transport and public service roles.
  • Leonardo is deploying a global campaign for the world’s first multirole commercial tiltrotor.
  • The AW609 is now entering mass production ahead of FAA certification.
  • The first Full mission flight simulator will be operational in 2020 in USA.

Atlanta, 7 March 2019 – Leonardo and Nakanihon Air Service, Co., Ltd. of Japan (Nakanihon Air Service) signed at Heli-Expo a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a joint working group that will study requirements for introducing the AW609 commercial multirole tiltrotor into service in Japan. Leonardo already supplies a range of advanced rotorcraft technology to the benefit of Japanese civil and government users.

The AW609 represents the next generation of aircraft transport under the all-new, rigorous power lift civil certification category being set by FAA, and is now entering the mass production phase at Leonardo Philadelphia facility. In line with market interest, the AW609 first Full Motion simulator will be available in 2020.

The AW609 excels at reaching people in hard-to-access areas including densely populated citycenters; high mountains, coastlines, and far-flung islands; and low population regions where the nearest hospital is many miles away—all with unprecedented performance and all-weather capabilities.

Thanks to turboprop-like speed, a 25,000 ft altitude and 2000 km maximum range, users will benefit from unique flying capabilities above adverse weather and a pressurized cabin for maximized comfort and patient medical treatment, while maintaining rotorcraft vertical take-off and landing / hovering versatility.

Nakanihon Air Service said: “At Nakanihon Air Service we operate about 80 aircraft, both fixedwing aircraft and helicopters, and we are very interested in the new tiltrotor category. Through this joint working group with Leonardo, we would like to explore the applications of the AW609 to future aeromedical services, disaster emergency response and news coverage as well as new areas of business.”

During the next 12 months, the working group will leverage the Nakanihon Air Service experience as one of the largest fixed and rotary wing operators in Japan and a Leonardo Authorized Service Center for decades in delivering charter, goods transport, aerial photography and EMS/SAR services across the nation to identify opportunities for the world’s first multirole / commercial tiltrotor in Japan and offer the AW609 for a range of roles such as transport and

EMS/SAR. Their combined fixed/rotary wing operational and service expertise makes Nakanihon Air Service the ideal partner.

There are over 130 helicopters in service in Japan performing law enforcement, emergency medical service, search and rescue, firefighting, disaster relief, VIP/corporate transport, electronic news gathering and naval utility.