Leonardo Helicopters NEWS

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

CSX81963 [NAF-…] – WORLD ROTORS update

Thanks to Andrea PINTO and Tiziano CAPENTI for these images of the Leonardo AW109E Power CSX81963 … wearing large sticker “A109E 11847 LAST ONE” in Vergiate (VA), June 2019 … and wearing the full Nigeria Air Force colors in Venegono, October 2019.

1000th AW139 Delivery Celebration Cerimony … Leonardo Helicopters Facility – Vergiate (VA), 20 September 2019

Now online the complete Photo Report Page of the 1000th AW139 Delivery Celebration Cerimony … held at Vergiate facility on date 20 September 2019. 115 new images available in a unique gallery to visit and enjoy.

  • The first VIP AW109 Trekker for the European market is destined for the United Kingdom where Leonardo has a fleet of almost 100 VIP helicopters
  • Leonardo has a global fleet of over 830 VIP helicopters performing private, charter, scheduled, corporate transport, air-taxi, tourism and VVIP transport
  • With skids and high levels of customization, the AW109 Trekker is slated to increase Leonardo’s impressive VIP market share (44% in twin engines)

PRESS RELEASE – Monte Carlo, 25th September 2019

The first Leonardo AW109 VIP Trekker helicopter for a European customer debuts today at the Monaco Yacht Show.

The Monaco Yacht Show (25 to 28 September) is one of the most important international luxury yacht showcases. After the show, the VIP Trekker will fly to the United Kingdom for delivery thanks to Sloane Helicopters, Leonardo’s distributor for over twenty years in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The privately-owned aircraft will be operated by Apollo Air Services, available for VIP charter market.

The AW109 Trekker is the newest model within Leonardo’s light twin-engine helicopter range. The Trekker joins a fleet of Leonardo VIP helicopters that lead the UK and Irish market: almost 100 aircraft with nearly 90% represented by the AW109 series (Power, Grand and GrandNew). This market is second only to Brazil where about 130 Leonardo VIP helicopters fly amongst 400 San Paolo helipads. The helicopter maker and the distinguished Italian Style of its VIP helicopter design are embraced around the world, boasting a 44% global share in the twin-engine VIP helicopter market.

The Company’s fleet of 2,300 civil helicopters are used for law enforcement, offshore transport, utilities, search and rescue and VIP / corporate transport. More than 830 aircraft carry out a range pf passenger transport missions including private, charter, scheduled flights, corporate, air-taxi, tourism, VVIP. Leonardo’s VIP helicopter models all share a strong commitment to high performance, versatility, safety, reliability, support and training services, design and a high level of customization. The Company features the largest range of executive, corporate and government transport helicopters including the AW119Kx single engine 1.8 tonne, the AW109 series, the AW169, AW139, AW189 and the three-engine 16 tonne.

With the AW109 Trekker Leonardo is destined to increase its notable market share, thanks to features that combine the qualities of the AW109 Grand—long recognized by operators— Company General Use including its spacious cabin, state-of-the-art Genesys Aerosystems avionics and skids, particularly suitable for landing on yachts. The combination is unmatched in terms of cost/effectiveness, technology and performance. Sloane Helicopters will be maintaining two AW109 Trekkers in UK. Building on the qualities that have made the AW109 series the benchmark helicopters in its category, Sloane will be performing demonstration flights with the new Leonardo light twin inviting operators to learn more about its unique characteristics.

  • Alessandro Profumo: “Today we celebrate the global affirmation of an asset of our entire country”
  • The thousandth aircraft was assigned to Italy’s Guardia di Finanza
  • The most successful global helicopter programme in the last 15 years, the AW139 is now setting a production record for the Italian aviation industry
  • With 280 operators in 70 different countries to date, the AW139 saves lives every day, helps people in difficulty and guarantees safety in every corner of the world

PRESS REALEASE – Rome, 20th September 2019

Leonardo delivered today its 1,000th AW139 helicopter.

The event represents a historic achievement: the AW139 is the most important helicopter programme in the last 15 years at an international level, and it is also able to set a production record in the Italian aviation industry’s outlook. The 1,000th machine of this model was delivered to Italy’s Guardia di Finanza during an official celebration which was held at Leonardo’s plant in Vergiate (Varese – Italy), in the presence of institutional representatives, customers, partners and suppliers, as well as the company’s top management and employees. The AW139’s first flight dates back to the beginning of 2001.

The helicopter boasts orders of over 1,100 units from more than 280 customers in over 70 countries on all continents. The aircraft has shown extraordinary levels of reliability and operational capabilities with almost 2.5 million flight hours recorded since the first delivery took place at the beginning of 2004. Data of use testify the extreme versatility of the AW139 which satisfies any market need: more than 30% for public utility tasks such as search and rescue and air ambulance, law enforcement, firefighting, disaster relief; over 30% for offshore transport; around 20% for military tasks; the rest account for VIP, institutional and corporate transport missions. Leonardo’s CEO, Alessandro Profumo, said: “What we celebrate today is much more than the success of a product or of a company. It is the global affirmation of an asset of our entire country. Thanks to the commitment, knowledge and professional skills present at Leonardo and to our products, like the AW139, our host of technologies and history of flight innovation – these all form important pillars of our industrial capabilities.

The AW139 is a striking example of the role that Leonardo plays and intends to continue to have in the world. All our values are reflected in the AW139: continuous innovation, internationalisation, proximity to the market and to the customer, and the enhancement of human resources”. Leonardo Helicopters’ Managing Director, Gian Piero Cutillo, added: “With the AW139 the company has been able to create an extraordinary programme with international roots and with its global success this has allowed us to reach the top of the industry’s world helicopter market. Without the self-denial, the preparation and the passion of workers from different generations and nationalities who believed in and worked on its development, and who still follow it in its operational path by constantly confronting the market and customers, all this would not have been possible.” The AW139 fleet has a global presence: around 30% in Europe, almost as much in Asia and Australasia, 15% in the American continent, followed by the Middle East.

The international success of the AW139 is so important that to meet market demands the helicopter is produced on different assembly lines both in Italy, in the Vergiate plant, and in the United States in Philadelphia. The AW139, along with Leonardo’s other new generation models, has played a significant role in the evolution of the market. These aircraft have contributed to the company taking a 40% share of the world’s civil sector in terms of value in 2018. The AW139 has grown significantly in just a few years, adapting to the changing needs of customers. The maximum take-off weight increased from 6.4 to 7 tons.

Almost 1,000 mission kits and equipment have been certified. With advanced protection systems against icing, the AW139 can fly in all weather conditions. This model is also the only one in the world capable of continuing to fly for over 60 minutes without oil in the transmission, twice as much as the 30 minutes set by the certification authorities. Despite the experience and maturity achieved in 15 years of operational activity, the AW139 remains a young and modern programme, destined to play a leading role into the future. The AW139 represents a turning point in the rotary-wing sector through the introductory concept of the Leonardo “helicopter family”. The AW139 is, in fact, the forefather of a helicopter family comprising of the smaller and lighter AW169 and the larger and heavier AW189. Models, the only case in the world, that share the same design philosophy, the same high performance, the same flight characteristics and the same certification standards, as well as the same approach to maintenance and training. A concept that allows operators with large diversified fleets, with models ranging from 4 to 9 tons of weight, to create significant synergies in crew training, flight operations, maintenance and logistics support.

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