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All posts for the month December, 2020

PRESS RELEASE – Donauwörth, 18 December 2020

Airbus Helicopters and ÖAMTC Air Rescue have signed a firm contract for the purchase of five H135s. The delivery of the first helicopter of this contract is scheduled for early 2022.

“Our demanding missions require the most modern helicopters available for enhancing our capability for critical missions, e.g. during the night. We have been operating the H135 for more than 20 years, and we look forward to benefiting from the advantages that the Helionix version brings,” said Reinhard Kraxner, CEO at ÖAMTC Air Rescue. “The reduced pilot workload combined with the 4-axis autopilot will be a valuable asset onboard for our crews that rescue patients often in challenging environments.”

“We thank ÖAMTC Air Rescue for their continued trust in Airbus Helicopters and particularly in the H135,” said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “The H135 continues to demonstrate that it is the reference in air medical rescue all over the world.”

ÖAMTC Air Rescue operates 28 H135 helicopters from 17 permanent bases and 4 additional bases during the wintertime in Austria. Last year, the operator performed more than 20,000 missions, with on average 52 missions per day.

The H135 is the helicopter of reference for helicopter emergency medical service operators worldwide. It combines a wide, unobstructed cabin with excellent performance, range and payload capacity – along with low sound levels. The oversized sliding side doors and rear clamshell doors enable fast loading/unloading of patients, with additional safety during ground operations provided by Airbus’ signature shrouded Fenestron tail rotor.

On top of the 4-axis autopilot, Helionix offers an innovative cockpit layout which helps to increase situational awareness. Designed with three large electronic displays on the H135, the cockpit is Night Vision Goggle compatible and includes a First Limit Indicator which highlights the appropriate engine instrument data for the pilot in one indicator.
To date, more than 1,400 helicopters of the H135 family have been delivered around the globe with more than 5,6 million flight hours.

PRESS RELEASE – Marignane, 18 December 2020

Airbus Helicopters and its historical partner Héli-Union have signed a contract for the purchase of two multi-mission H160s to address a wide range of operations.

 “We are excited to be one of the first customers to onboard the H160 which will expand our fleet of 40 helicopters. We believe this program will have a great future in both civil and defence sectors and are delighted to be an actor of its growth” said Patrick Molis, Héli-Union CEO.

“We are proud that Héli-Union, with its vast experience across the globe, especially in offshore transportation, has selected the H160 to bolster its fleet of Airbus helicopters,” said Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO. “The H160 not only raises the bar in terms of safety, thanks to its numerous pilot assistance features, but its reduced fuel consumption brings much needed operational competitiveness, as well as a lower carbon footprint, to the market,” he added. 

With 68 patents, the H160 integrates Airbus Helicopters’ latest technological innovations aimed at increasing safety and comfort.  The Blue Edge blades and the largest shrouded Fenestron tail rotor ensure low sounds levels and deliver high end performance at the same time. The aircraft’s compact size will be an added advantage to landing on oil platforms.  Designed as a multi-mission helicopter aimed at addressing all major missions from offshore transportation, emergency medical services, search and rescue as well as other public service missions, the inherent flexibility of the H160 will suit all kinds of operations around the world.

Héli-Union currently operates a fleet of approximately 20 Airbus helicopters from the Dauphin, the H225, and the H145 families and maintains a wide range of Airbus Helicopters products for third parties such as civil or defence operators.

Héli-Union is a French operator and service provider with 60 years of experience in technical and logistical support to various civil and military organizations around the world. They are active in several markets: support of civil and state aircraft activities in France and abroad, operation of helicopters in various countries, as well as training of pilots and technicians. This experience allows Héli-Union to offer its customers a turnkey solution for the acquisition of new air assets and the deployment of air operations. Héli-Union is therefore positioned as a global partner, offering a wide range of services in order to support its customers in the implementation of air services.

PRESS RELEASE – Rome, 16 December 2020

  • The delivery grows the number of AW139s operated by WIKING Helikopter Service GmbH in Germany, supporting the energy industry, to four aircraft
  • The operator’s standardisation and modernisation programme based on the AW139 is helping to meet the evolving requirements of its customers 
  • Nearly 1,200 AW139s ordered by more than 280 customers in over 70 nations worldwide, nearly 1,100 delivered and 2.9 million flight hours logged in operations to date 

Leonardo announced today that WIKING Helikopter Service GmbH has taken delivery of a new AW139 7-tonne intermediate twin engine helicopter from Leonardo’s Vergiate facility, further expanding an existing fleet of three aircraft.

The helicopter will be used to carry out offshore transport missions supporting energy industry operations in Northern Europe.

WIKING has been an offshore transport specialist in the North and Baltic Sea areas for over 45 years. It has three bases in Germany and two in the UK. The Company also performs sea pilot transfer, a windmill engineer hoisting service, and emergency medical service operations with its fleet of seven helicopters of various types. 

“Our fleet standardisation and modernisation programme launched a few years ago is helping to meet the evolving requirements of our customers and the growth of our AW139 fleet is providing a valuable support for this goal. Our decision to leverage the unrivalled mission capabilities, operational efficiency and reliability in its category of the popular AW139 are testament to our commitment to delivering the best level of safety, quality, and service across the region,” said Ernst Nassl, CEO Wiking Helikopter Service GmbH.

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 energy 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. Nearly 1,200 AW139s have been ordered by more than 280 customers in over 70 nations to date for any kind of mission. The global fleet of nearly 1,100 units has amassed over 2.9 million flight hours to date.

COMUNICATO STAMPA N. 39/2020 – ROMA, 01 Dicembre 2020

Il 30 novembre è atterrato il primo esemplare dell’elicottero HH139B destinato a completare ed a rafforzare la flotta di elicotteri del 15° Stormo e dei Centri/Gruppi SAR alle sue dipendenze.

L’elicottero è stato consegnato il 27 novembre, presso gli stabilimenti di Leonardo in Vergiate (VA), a seguito della positiva conclusione delle procedure di collaudo e accettazione condotte dal personale della Direzione Armamenti Aeronautici e per l’Aeronavigabilità (DAAA), congiuntamente agli uomini del dipendente Ufficio Tecnico Territoriale di Milano (UTT) ed il supporto del Reparto Sperimentale Volo dell’Aeronautica Militare.

Gli HH139 versione “B” andranno a completare la flotta di elicotteri HH139A già in dotazione alla Forza Armata.

La consegna degli elicotteri terminerà nel 2021 e vedrà la consegna di 17 esemplari versione “B” ai Gruppi Volo di Cervia ed ai Centri S.A.R.  (Search and Rescue) dislocati sul territorio nazionale (80° Centro CSAR di Decimomannu a Cagliari, 82° Centro CSAR di Trapani, l’84° Centro CSAR di Gioia del Colle ed 85° Centro CSAR di Pratica di Mare).

La nuova versione HH139B presenta alcuni accorgimenti tecnici che permettono di migliorare la capacità operativa e ad aumentare pertanto la flessibilità d’impiego per rispondere alle emergenze ed alle esigenze di sicurezza.

In particolare la nuova versione è stata dotata di un doppio verricello che aumenta l’affidabilità del sistema e la sicurezza durante le operazioni di recupero e di unamission consolleche consente una migliore gestione degli apparati di bordo ai fini della ricerca di eventuali dispersi. Inoltre, il peso massimo al decollo è stato aumentato, da 6800kg a 7000kg, il che permette una maggiore capacità di carico ed infine è stata aggiornata con sistemi di ultima generazione l’avionica ed i sensori di bordo (come ad esempio il sistema AIS – Automatic Identification System – che consente una migliore interazione con i mezzi navali e l’OPLS – Obstacle Proximity LIDAR System – che favorisce l’identificazione e la separazione con gli ostacoli orografici.

Il 15° Stormo ha il compito di recuperare gli equipaggi in difficoltà in tempo di pace (SAR – Ricerca e soccorso) ed in tempo di crisi ed in operazioni fuori dai confini nazionali (C/SAR – Combat SAR), di supporto alle Operazioni Speciali nonché di concorrere in caso di gravi calamità ad attività di pubblica utilità quali la ricerca di dispersi in mare o in montagna, il trasporto sanitario d’urgenza di ammalati in pericolo di vita ed il soccorso di traumatizzati gravi , il trasporto in bio-contenimento e, di recente, anche il supporto all’attività di antincendio boschivo. Il livello addestrativo degli equipaggi, le caratteristiche tecnologiche degli elicotteri in dotazione nonché l’impiego di apparecchiature e tecniche speciali, quali l’utilizzo di visori notturni, fanno spesso del 15° Stormo l’unica componente elicotteristica in grado di gestire con successo le situazioni di emergenza più complesse grazie, come ad esempio, alla capacità d’impiego di giorno, di notte e in condizioni meteo marginali. Ogni volta che un elicottero del 15° Stormo si alza in volo o sta salvando una vita umana, o si sta addestrando per farlo. Dalla sua costituzione ad oggi infatti, gli equipaggi del 15° Stormo hanno salvato oltre 7200 persone in pericolo di vita.


Leonardo’s helicopter rescue and law enforcement fleet grows stronger in Brazil adding further AW119s to the AW109s and AW139s already used by other agencies.


PRESS RELEASE – Rome, 30 November 2020

  • The AW119Kx helicopters are expected to progressively arrive in Brazil in the first half of 2021 to carry out a range of roles including transport, rescue, emergency medical service, firefighting, surveillance and law enforcement.
  • Nearly 190 Leonardo helicopters fly in Brazil today performing a range of roles including corporate/private transport, law enforcement, public services, offshore transport, and naval applications, supported by a growing level of localized maintenance services.
  • Over 350 AW119 helicopters have been ordered by over 130 customers in 40 countries, many of them for law enforcement, rescue, public service and military tasks

Leonardo announced today that the Polícia Rodoviária Federal (PRF) of Brazil will introduce into service six AW119Kx single engine helicopters. The first aircraft is expected to be introduced in Brazil beginning next year, with the delivery of the remainder helicopters to the operator planned to be completed by mid-2021. The AW119Kxs will be operated by the Air Operations Division (DOA) from its bases in the five Regions of Brazil to perform a range of missions including transport, rescue, emergency medical service, firefighting, surveillance and law enforcement.
The selection of the AW119Kx by the PRF was made following a rigorous assessment of technical capabilities to best meet the law enforcement agency’s needs. The handover of these helicopters will further expand the fleet of Leonardo helicopters used by law enforcement, rescue and public
service operators across Brazil which already includes the AW119 single engine type in addition to the AW109 light twin and AW139 intermediate twin models. The helicopters will feature an advanced customized configuration including, among others, a Garmin G1000NXi glass cockpit,
an infrared capable electro-optics system, rescue hoist, cargo hook, bambi bucket to counter fires, rappelling kit on both sides for special forces operations, advanced communication systems.

To date there are over 190 Leonardo helicopters of various types operating in Brazil performing many roles including: corporate/private transport, law enforcement, public services, offshore transport, and naval applications. As the success of Leonardo’s product grows further, the Company is committed to further strengthening its existing level of localized services with the establishment of a new regional support centre, run by Leonardo do Brasil, in Itapevi, 30 km from São Paulo whose groundbreaking was celebrated in February. The new support centre will expand the services already provided by the existing facility headquartered in São Paulo. Leonardo is committed to serving and protecting communities around the world, contributing to their sustainable growth by leading in next generation technologies. Partnering with Governments, private organizations and industries for the best security and safety capabilities is a cornerstone of Leonardo’s Be Tomorrow 2030 Strategic Plan.