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All posts for the month October, 2022

PRESS RELEASE – Rome,  27 October 2022

  • Contract signed for 20 helicopters, support and training services, with deliveries expected in the 2023-2026 timeframe
  • The AW119Kxs will perform a wide range of missions supporting homeland security, communities and environmental activities. The AW119Kx will complement the Carabinieri’s helicopter fleet and deliver operational synergies with their new AW139s and AW169s. 
  • To date more than 490 AW119s have been ordered by operators worldwide, with growing success in defence, security, and rescue duties 

Leonardo has announced today the signing of a contract by Italy’s Carabinieri for the supply of 20 AW119Kx single engine helicopters for its Air Service.

The aircraft will be assembled at Leonardo’s Vergiate facility (Varese) with deliveries expected in the 2023-2026 period. The contract also includes a comprehensive turnkey logistics support package and training services for pilots and maintenance technicians.   

The delivery of the helicopters will allow the Carabinieri to meet its fleet modernisation requirements in order to further strengthen and enhance the security of national communities. This will be made possible carrying out a range of patrol and reconnaissance tasks over land, identifying critical targets, gathering investigation evidence, as well as supporting ground units’ activities. Other duties also comprise environment monitoring and protection, and, if asked by National Disaster Relief Authority, fire-fighting in addition to rescue missions. 

The AW119Kxs feature digital technology, which increases operational effectiveness and lowers operating costs. The helicopters will be used at the existing locations of the service, which includes 18 bases across the country. Their equipment will allow full interoperability with other Carabinieri’s assets and full cooperation with those of other armed forces and government agencies, both in-country and internationally. 

Gian Piero Cutillo, MD Leonardo Helicopters, said: “The introduction of the AW119Kx in the Carabinieri Air Service’s fleet ideally integrates the capabilities the operator already has chosen thanks to the AW139s and AW169s. The helicopters respond to the wide spectrum of the Air Service’s requirements considering their national duties and an evolving and increasingly complex operational scenario. We’re proud to continue to support the Carabinieri with capabilities that are able to face new security challenges and benefit the national communities”.   

The specific characteristics of the AW119Kx and its certification and military standards allow the operator to perform missions over urban areas effectively and safely thanks to the type’s features such as system redundancies, power margin, excellent external visibility, advanced digital navigation and mission avionics. The latter is based on a Garmin G1000H cockpit featuring wide colour screens, synthetic vision, HTAWS, satellite navigation/moving map. The AW119Kx has a spacious cabin and baggage compartment, and high main rotor clearance for greater safety of personnel. Carabinieri’s AW119Kxs will feature, among others, HD EO, cargo hook, mission console with data-link, hyperspectral system for environment monitoring, radio, wire cutter, search light and a Bambi Bucket. Provisions for a floating system and life raft and a snow kit are also included.

The highly versatile AW119Kx features both VFR and IFR avionics based on customer choice. This allows greater situational awareness, mission effectiveness and safety. The AW119Kx has unmatched performance with high power margin and the most spacious cabin in its category, able to host up to six passengers depending on configuration. More than 490 AW119s have been sold to date.  

PRESS RELEASE – 18 October 2022

North America’s business aviation main conference and exhibition is back in Florida, enabling Leonardo to join the business aviation community to explore the future of the industry, presenting major premieres.

The NBAA Business and Aviation Conference and Exhibition is back in Florida for the first time after four years, taking place October 18 – 20 at the Orlando County Convention Center.  Leonardo will join the business aviation community to explore the future of the industry. Along with providing an update on what’s next for VIP/corporate transport, NBAA will mark the introduction of its new VIP Agusta brand to the North American market. It will also feature the AW609 in a VIP configuration, marking the first time it has made an appearance at a business aviation conference, along with the static display of an AW109 GrandNew, set to tour the U.S. for demos this fall.

With a global fleet of more than 900 helicopters carrying out a range of passenger missions, including private transport, corporate transport, charter, scheduled services and VIP/government transport, and 40% share in the world’s multiengine VIP helicopter market, Leonardo is the global leader in this sector. The same is true in the United States, with strong sales to date in 2022 and growing potential. The world class AW139 intermediate twin is proving extremely attractive in the U.S., as a growing number of private transport operators welcomes its latest technology and safety standards, comfort and overall performance in terms of speed, range and endurance.

AW609 to revolutionize point-to-point private travel

The new Agusta brand, previously launched at both EBACE and LABACE, updates the distinctive look that made it a sought-after brand by adding more solutions and services, accompanied with technological advances. The first unveiling of this combination of heritage and innovation was presented with the all-new rotorcraft terminal named Casa Agusta, in partnership with Falcon Aviation, late 2021 in Dubai. On that same occasion, the innovative AW609 tiltrotor was also exhibited, as will again be the case in Orlando. The AW609 is transforming the world of rotary-wing aircraft, easing travel between cities. The AW609 VIP configuration is the flagship for the Agusta brand with bespoke accommodations in a variety of interior options. It provides customers the flexibility to choose from interiors with 5 to 7 seats with an optional galley and lavatory. Combined with point-to-point capability avoiding traffic, transfers and runways while travelling in luxury, the AW609 is poised to transform VIP travel.

Agusta’s all new services

At NBAA, Leonardo will showcase plans for new options and services dedicated to VIP/corporate helicopter operators under Agusta. These include the Interior Moods layouts, a new integrated maintenance service plan and a dedicated Agusta section in the Leonardo Customer Portal. The Interior Moods, initially created for the AW139, AW169 and AW189, consist of three brand new options, all inspired by iconic cities. These layouts feature stylish and specific colors, materials, seat configurations and on-board options. They are designed to allow customers to select and create their ideal and perfect environment, mirroring their own distinctive wants, while are also meeting their needs. From the sense of warmth, harmony and pureness of “Florence,” to the juxtaposition of opposites like tradition and innovation of “London,” to the energy and passion of the cosmopolitan “New York.”

The new Agusta for YOU helicopter service plan, developed specifically to meet the needs of corporate rotorcraft operators, is intended to increase aircraft availability and reduce inventory costs, while optimizing expenses by covering both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance of airframe/avionics components and other items. Aircraft initially included under this plan are the AW109GrandNew, AW169 and AW139, with a plan to extend to other platforms moving forward. In addition, on the Leonardo Helicopter Customer Portal, VIP operators will have an area where they can check-in on the progress and status of their aircraft manufacturing and testing, with images and in real time. Overall, these advancements are aimed at delivering clear answers to meet exclusivity requirement, making ownership and operation of a Agusta helicopters a true 360-degree experience from day one.

Leonardo VIP helicopters also feature a range of technologies supporting safety, comfort, navigation and mission effectiveness, support and training. To demonstrate, in addition to the AW609, Leonardo Helicopters is exhibiting an AW109 GrandNew on static display at NBAA.  The AW109 GrandNew responds to the market demand for a helicopter that blends performance, speed, payload and operational flexibility, together the lower environmental impact. Capable of operating in the most severe weather conditions, it is a top -of-the-line light twin multi-role helicopter, offering the highest safety through advanced navigation and situational awareness technology.

PRESS RELEASE – Philadelphia,  19 October 2022

  • The aircraft took to the air in Philadelphia on 13th October testing general handling and systems
  • This tiltrotor will support mission capability evaluation and expansion as the programme moves closer to certification. 
  • Three customers’ production aircraft are on the final assembly line in Philadelphia.
  • The AW609 will revolutionise air transport thanks to its rotorcraft-like versatility and airplane-like performance

The world’s first multirole tiltrotor programme, designed to redefine a range of commercial and public services, set a major milestone with the maiden flight of the first AW609 production aircraft. This aircraft introduces unprecedented capabilities under a dedicated ‘powered lift category’ civil certification now under development. Designated AC5, the aircraft took to the air at Leonardo’s Philadelphia-based site on 13th October performing as expected the initial in-flight evaluation of systems and general handling. 

The first production aircraft joins a prototype based in the US and two more located in Italy, all currently involved in the last stages of testing activities ahead of (Federal Aviation Administration) FAA certification. AC5 will be retained by Leonardo contributing to customer demonstrations, mission capability evaluation and expansion, and supporting the manufacturer and the operators in the transition from the developmental to the operational phase once on the market. Currently, three customers’ production aircraft are on the dedicated final assembly line at various stages of construction in Philadelphia. 

Gian Piero Cutillo, MD Leonardo Helicopters, said: “This amazing achievement adds to several milestones for the AW609 programme over the last year, through its technical progress and during its public appearances. Together this testifies the level of maturity this groundbreaking programme has reached and our credentials to pioneer in the emerging fast rotorcraft domain. I thank our integrated team of skilled and committed people across our geographies for making all of this possible, as they continue to work towards certification.”   

Earlier this year the AW609 launch customer in the United States, Bristow Group, participated in a demonstration flight in Philadelphia marking an important milestone as Leonardo and Bristow collaborate to introduce the AW609 aircraft into service. Also, in March 2022 the AW609 user base was further expanded with the addition of an undisclosed long-established European operator of Leonardo’s helicopters who will aim to introduce four tiltrotors to carry out a range of passenger transport missions supporting its point-to-point operations worldwide.

The AW609 will revolutionise air transport thanks to its rotorcraft-like versatility and airplane-like performance. The AW609 excels at providing fast point-to-point transportation at long ranges, whether connecting city centres or providing timely access to remote locations.  It can transport up to nine passengers in the comfort of a pressurised cabin, transforming private and business travel, EMS, SAR, offshore operations and patrol, serving those in both the private and government sectors.

To date, the programme has logged nearly 1,900 flight hours in the US and Italy. Users will be provided with comprehensive support and training packages, primarily headquartered at Leonardo’s new Training Academy in Philadelphia. Opened in 2021, it is home to the world’s first AW609 full-flight Simulator. 

PRESS RELEASE – 10 October 2022

The AW139 leased by Sazma to perform offshore transport operations brings to 27 the number of Leonardo helicopters procured by ADA to date, further consolidating the partnership between Leonardo and ADA and strengthening the presence of the AW139 in Malaysia and in the world’s energy industry market.

LeonardoAbu Dhabi Aviation (ADA) and Sazma Aviation Sdn Bhd (Sazma) celebrated the delivery of an AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopter from the Vergiate final assembly line facility on 27th September. The aircraft will be leased by Sazma from ADA to perform offshore transport operations supporting the energy industry sector in Malaysia from Sazma’s base in Kota Kinabalu International Airport, Sabah. If and when required, the helicopter will also carry out VIP transport missions. This is the third AW139 leased from Sazma and brings to 27 the number of Leonardo helicopters procured by ADA to date, most of them being AW139s.

Additional features for the AW139 thanks to the latest avionics software standard

This latest aircraft handed highlights include the Honeywell Primus Epic Phase 8 core avionics software release, adding further capabilities including advanced synthetic vision, improved 2D maps and wireless data loading delivering even greater all-weather capabilities and mission effectiveness, and EGPWS (Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System). This latest standard increases crew situational awareness and reduces workload for operations at night or in marginal weather.

The advanced Synthetic Vision System assists with navigation and landing approaches when operating within challenging terrain, oil rigs, and other demanding scenarios, accomplished via 3D presentation of the external scenario, including surrounding terrain, obstacles, runways and helipads within the background of the Primary Flight Display. A user-friendly 2D Interactive Navigation (INAV) feature showing the helicopter position and flight plan on a map into the Multi-Functional Display (MFD) delivers unparalleled navigation system alignment and precision with the actual flight path taking into account environmental factors. Phase 8 has also wireless connectivity embedded, providing high speed data access for flight plans transfer and maintenance data gathering from the aircraft. Additionally, Custom Approach functionality provides the capability to design, set and fly an automated approach to any user-defined location, including oil rig helidecks.

Consolidated partnership between Leonardo and Abu Dhabi Aviation

This delivery further strengthens the partnership between Leonardo and ADA and the presence of the AW139 in Malaysia and in the world’s energy industry market as the benchmark helicopter in its category. Leonardo and ADA have been collaborating for over 15 years and has been extended to comprehensive localized support, maintenance and overhaul services in UAE around 10 years ago with the establishment of the AgustaWestland Aviation Services Joint Venture and training and simulation capabilities afterwards. In more recent years, ADA has also added the latest generation AW169 light intermediate twin, the best possible complement to the AW139 in the light-intermediate category leveraging the unique AW Family advantages with a similar design and latest standards.    

Abu Dhabi Aviation is a national shareholding company and the largest commercial helicopter operator in MENA region, established in 1976. The company owns a fleet of nearly 60 aircrafts, including more than 50 helicopters and several fixed-wing aircrafts. ADA also operates aircrafts for various entities. ADA has won multiple international aviation awards. It has completed more than 1,000,000 safe flying hours.