Leonardo AW169

All posts tagged Leonardo AW169

PRESS RELEASE – 30 October 2023

An AW169 equipped for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) missions is embarking on a month-long demonstration tour across Japan as Leonardo continues to strengthen its presence in the country where it has a rich heritage of partnership dating back to the mid-1980s.

The Leonardo fleet of helicopters in Japan has grown rapidly in recent years, with almost 160 aircraft now in service. Some 80% of these helicopters are deployed for missions that save lives spanning roles such as search and rescue, law enforcement, firefighting and disaster relief as well as primary and secondary EMS missions. The arrival of an EMS-configured AW169 for a month-long demo tour signifies the company’s continued commitment to customers in Japan, and in particular Leonardo’s support for the public service market.
The AW169, which features a full medical interior, belongs to Italian helicopter operator Alidaunia and will make numerous stops to across the country to engage with EMS operators, search and rescue organizations, law enforcement agencies and firefighting aviation units stretching from the northernmost Hokkaido Island to the south of the country.
“We believe the AW169 is particularly well suited to the EMS mission and public service roles more generally in Japan,” says Daniele Alzetta who is responsible for Sales in the Asia Pacific Rim region. “In the EMS sector in Japan, there is a trend towards replacing smaller helicopters with larger models that offer more cabin space and this is a strength of the AW169 because it has class-leading cabin size. The spacious cabin means that crews benefit from full access to the patient, while the helicopter can also carry more complex and advanced medical equipment on board to deliver emergency care in flight.
“The AW169’s performance and range are also important factors in Japan which has a territory that includes thousands of islands, requiring helicopters to perform an important role in accessing remote communities. The helicopter’s compact footprint also enables it to operate effectively in densely populated cities where landing sites can be significantly restricted.”
Alzetta adds: “Japan’s EMS market is well developed with approximately 65% of operations involving primary missions where aircraft are deployed directly to the scene of an incident and the remainder being secondary missions such as intra-hospital transfers.”

Four decades of growth

Leonardo’s presence in the Japanese helicopters market can be traced back almost 40 years to the mid-1980s with the sale of early Agusta A109 models into the country. In the four decades since, the fleet has grown significantly, particularly since the opening of the company’s office in the country in 2008. In the civil market, Leonardo aircraft operate diverse missions including VIP/corporate, utility, transport, training, and Search and Rescue (SAR), in addition to EMS, firefighting and law enforcement operations.
Japan also has a mature Electronic News Gathering (ENG) market, with a significant fleet of helicopters carrying out ENG activities for newspapers and broadcasters nationwide. A total of seven AW139s and four AW169s are in service supporting the ENG market currently.

PRESS RELEASE – 30 October 2023

  • The 5,100 kg Increased Gross Weight (IGW) will meet the evolving needs of the military and civil markets delivering higher weight category performance and capabilities with lower weight category costs 
  • An 11-seater configuration and modular fuel tank will address rigorous requirements, particularly in the energy sector in terms of payload, range, and compliance with the latest standards 
  • The latest enhancements and kits being developed leverage on the inherent growth potential of the successful latest generation AW169 helicopter

The AW169 light intermediate twin engine helicopter’s operational capabilities and range of options will grow further with the launch of a 5,100 kg (11,243 lb) IGW kit and an 11-seater configuration fully compliant with the IOGP (International Association of Oil & Gas Producers) Report 690. Both will be made available for the aircraft version with skid landing gear. 

The 5,100 kg (11,243 lb) kit for the AW169 skid version, originally conceived to meet government and defence requirements for missions like troop transport and combat operations, will also respond to evolving civil and public service market needs leveraging multiple operational and performance benefits. Key factors to this capability expansion are the inherent growth potential of the type not requiring modifications in the design of critical components, and the performance increase packages, delivering greater engine and transmission power as well as improved aerodynamics in all conditions and for all applications.

Compared with the standard 4,800 kg (10582 lb) Maximum Take-off Weight, the extra 300 kg (661 lb) available with the 5,100 kg IGW kit allows the embarkation of three more passengers or the addition of fuel for approximately one hour of operations. Existing operators of the type’s version with skids will be able to retrofit the 5,100 kg IGW kit to enhance their aircraft’s capabilities. 

As an additional option, the 11-seater configuration, fully compliant with the IOGP Report 690 (Offshore Helicopter Recommended Practices), will introduce a new modular fuel tank system and two additional Type IV emergency exits in the cabin, increasing the total number from four to six. The 11 seats configuration will be available for the skid-fitted version in combination with the 5,100 kg IGW kit. This solution will allow the type to satisfy even more demanding offshore transport requirements in terms of payload, range, and compliance with IOGP latest standards. 

This configuration will allow a radius of action of up to 75 nm with 11 passengers, therefore offering capabilities typically achievable with types with a MTOW exceeding 5.5 tons (intermediate class) at a light intermediate class cost of operations as well as granting latest safety standards compared with legacy helicopters. It will also deliver greater sustainability versus ageing types in the relevant weight category thanks to a more efficient powerplant, advanced navigation, modern support and maintenance approach, among other solutions.

The Certification of the IGW increase is expected in 2024 while the 11-seater configuration with new modular fuel tank is planned for certification in 2026. 

These latest operational capabilities will add to the EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) certifications of the skid undercarriage and unique IFR, single pilot, Advanced Search and Rescue (SAR) Modes, both achieved in late 2022. With the skid configuration certification, the AW169 became the only modern CS29-certified aircraft able to offer all undercarriage solutions, further demonstrating the versatility by design of the type. The AW169 is also the only helicopter in its weight category that features Advanced SAR Modes. The performance increase packages previously developed had already enhanced engine performance and capabilities, transmission ratings and available payload through engine software updates and aircraft aerodynamics modifications, making the type the helicopter with the best power-to-weight ratio in its class.

The introduction of the AW169 has expanded Leonardo’s presence in the emergency medical service market and added more operators for law enforcement, disaster relief, and fire-fighting duties. It further reinforces the company’s leadership in the multi-engine VIP market providing operators with one more option fitting between the popular AW109 series and the bestselling AW139 models. It also adds one more solution for shorter-range operations supporting the energy sector and allows Leonardo to play a growing role in the new wind farm support field. Moreover, its dual-use design has responded to a range of government, homeland security and defence requirements for missions like surveillance, troop transport, combat operations, disaster relief and emergency response, fire-fighting, training, mountain rescue, and medevac. 

Over 320 AW169s are on order today, with around 170 units delivered from the Vergiate final assembly line (Italy) to operators in over 30 countries. The global fleet has logged in excess of 170,000 flight hours in all kind of operations and conditions. The fleet leader has exceeded 3,700 flight hours in EMS operations in Sweden.

PRESS RELEASE – Fort Worth, Texas – 3 November 2021

At AMTC 2021 (Air Medical Transport Conference) Leonardo has announced a further expansion of its presence in the US emergency medical service (EMS) market with new contracts.

These latest sales continue to grow the share of Leonardo helicopters in the North American EMS market, which now totals over 100 across a fleet of AW119s, AW109s, AW169s and AW139s. Globally, there are over 650 Leonardo search and rescue and emergency medical service helicopters saving lives every day in more than 50 countries. Contracts announced at AMTC include two further instrument flight rules (IFR) AW119Kxs single engine and one AW169 light intermediate helicopter for Life Link III and one AW169 for Intermountain Life Flight. 

Life Link III’s aircraft will deliver emergency medical services to patients in Minnesota and Wisconsin. This operator is the first commercial EMS Part 135 one in the United States to fly single engine, IFR-capable AW119Kx. These aircraft join their current fleet of ten AW119Kx VFR (Visual Flight Rules) aircraft. The latest AW119Kx IFR and the AW169 are expected to be delivered in 2022. 

The IFR-capable AW119Kx allows pilots to operate aircraft safely in the challenging weather conditions of this region. The AW119Kx is an ideal entry point for commercial and public service operators who seek this kind of high-level performance in Instrument Meteorological Weather (IMC) conditions, while still keeping single engine economics, in addition to the AW119Kx’s unique, light-twin multiple redundancies of critical systems and cabin space, safety and reliability. The AW119Kx is the first single engine provided with full IFR capabilities in decades and its success is growing among EMS operators in USA. 

The AW169 features a spacious, 222 cubic foot cabin, similar in size to models in the intermediate weight category – with flexible interior layouts, allowing with 360-degree patient access essential for critical care. d. In addition, the aircraft has Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) mode, allowing the cabin to stay “powered on” even with stopped rotors. This creates a safe, quiet and comfortable environment that can maintain heat and air conditioning, as needed. The presence of the AW169 in the US EMS market is growing among several operators in various States. 

To date, around 360 AW119s and 250 AW169s have been sold to customers across the globe to perform a wide range of roles, including EMS, fire-fighting, law enforcement, passenger transport, offshore transport, training and government/military duties. 

“Safety is at the heart of everything we do. The addition of the AW119Kx IFR and AW169 support our transition to utilizing instrument flight rules for patient transports and strengthen our fleet with new state of the air aircraft and enhanced capabilities,” said Greg Thingvold, Vice President of Aviation Operations at Life Link III. “Our new aircraft allows us to continue to respond to the ever-evolving needs of our patients while ensuring the highest margin of safety for our crews and those we serve.” 

“It is especially rewarding when we can help an existing customer add to their fleet with an even more capable aircraft,” said Bill Hunt Managing Director of Leonardo Helicopters U.S..“It tells us that our product is servicing their patients with the kind of excellence such a stellar operation demands.” 

Life Link III operates ten helicopter bases that include Alexandria, Blaine, Brainerd, Duluth, Hibbing, Rush City, and Willmar in Minnesota, and Marshfield, Rhinelander, and Rice Lake in Wisconsin. The company plans to open its eleventh helicopter base in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota in spring 2022. The company’s helicopter and airplane services provide on-scene emergency response and inter-facility transport for patients requiring critical care. Life Link III’s transportation services are accredited by CAMTS (Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transportation Systems), ensuring the highest standards of quality and safety are met. Life Link III is a non-profit consortium made up of the following member-owner organizations: Allina Health, CentraCare Health, Children’s Minnesota, Essentia Health, M Health Fairview, Regions Hospital/HealthPartners®, Hennepin Healthcare, Marshfield Clinic Health System, St. Luke’s, and HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital/St. Joseph’s. Learn more at www.lifelinkiii.com

Intermountain Life Flight (Intermountain Healthcare) has signed a contract for the first Full Ice Protection (FIPS) AW169 in North America, with delivery anticipated in late 2024. This new aircraft will significantly impact patient care, allowing in-flight critical care and transport of patients in even the harshest of winter conditions and will be the first helicopter in this category with this capability flying in North America. 

FIPS capabilities allow the aircraft to operate in full icing conditions when other helicopters would be grounded. The system heats windshield and blades to prevent ice accretion and allows for an automatic detection and activation delivering unparalleled mission capabilities in demanding environments and extreme weather and outstanding safety. The adoption of FIPS for the AW169 leverages the established capability of Leonardo across the AWFamily of latest generation helicopters including the AW139 and AW189 which leverage on-customer-demand ice protection system options for a range of roles including rescue and already used across various geographies. 

“We are excited to add this aircraft to our Intermountain Life Flight fleet,” said Kent Johnson, Director of Aviation Operations for Intermountain Life Flight, which is based in Salt Lake City. “The performance and safety features of this aircraft are outstanding and will serve us well in our environment and terrain.” 

“This is a significant milestone for Intermountain Healthcare and the communities it serves across the Intermountain West,” said Bill Hunt, Managing Director of Leonardo Helicopters in US. “Full Ice Protection allows for more and safer flights, while ensuring even those in more remote areas can be served during the winter months. We are incredibly proud to partner with Intermountain Healthcare.” 

With more range and power than competing helicopters in its category, the AW169 can travel up to 440 nautical miles, top speed at 160 knots and climb to 14,500 feet. Latest generation avionics include a four-axis, dual complex digital automation flight control system, a full night vision goggle (NVG) compatible digital glass cockpit with three 8-inch by 10-inch displays. Several rescue operators have already chosen the AW169 for life-saving missions worldwide in many countries such as Italy, UK, USA, Norway, Switzerland, Japan, to name a few. Crews and maintenance technicians in US will benefit from comprehensive and advanced training solutions, digitalized services and simulation delivered for the AW169 through the new Training Academy in Philadelphia. 

Located in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada, Intermountain Healthcare is a nonprofit system of 25 hospitals, 225 clinics, the Intermountain Medical Group with 2,700 employed physicians and advanced care practitioners, a health plans division called SelectHealthHomecare, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes and sustainable costs.

PRESS RELEASE – 29 April 2021

Officially opened through a virtual event on April 29, 2021, the new academy opened on schedule, despite the challenges of Covid-19

The new facility is located on the Philadelphia campus where Leonardo assembles the AW139, AW119Kx and AW609, and where it provides customer support across North and South America. It allows for ground, in-flight and virtual training to student pilots, making available digital courses, flight activities, simulation and mission training to meet any mission profile.

The US Academy also provides training for maintenance personnel, with on sight maintenance trainers and tools.

The main features of this new training location are: 

  • 10 multi-media classrooms, sized for both intimate and large group training, equipped with the latest technology, designed to provide interactive 2D/3D graphic content 
  • Three maintenance simulators, one AW139, one AW119 and soon one AW609
  • Two full-flight motion simulators, one AW139 and one AW169/AW609 with roll-on/roll-off capability. Jointly developed by Leonardo and CAE and operated by their Rotorsim JV, the simulators provide realistic training for specific missions, including off-shore, law enforcement, EMS and passenger transport. Additionally, an empty bay exists to allow the addition of a third full flight simulator to be added in the future to be based on demand
  • Special amenities for students to either take a break and mentally recharge through meditation and thoughtful reflection in a quiet, dedicated room – or ramp up their endorphins utilizing exercise equipment in gym that includes locker rooms and showers for customer convenience.

Join us in the virtual tour to experience our new Training Academy.

Leonardo announced today a further major reinforcement of its presence and customer service and technologies in US with the official opening of their brand new, state of the art Helicopter Training Academy, located on their existing campus in northeast Philadelphia that also includes production, support and administrative functions for the United States. The new Academy was first announced at the 2019 Heli-Expo in Atlanta and, despite the challenges of Covid-19, was able to open two years later, on schedule.

The new Academy in Philadelphia is part of an $80 million investment in United States operations that will provide training services for a growing demand and need for pilots, cabin crews and maintenance technicians across North and South America. The Training Academy in the US will mirror the services provided by its sister facility in Sesto-Calende (Italy) offering ground, air and virtual training and leverages also simulator capabilities jointly developed by Leonardo and CAE and operated by their Rotorsim JV. The Academy, which is already up and running for customers, features training services for the AW119, AW169, AW139 models and will also be home to the training services for global customers of the world’s first tiltrotor set to receive civil certification, the AW609. This one of a kind Academy strengthens the role of Leonardo as the only helicopter OEM that has an own capability of designing, developing, delivering, qualifying, supporting and operating the fullest range of Training Systems, with certified OEM-data into the simulated environment. 

Alessandro Profumo, Leonardo CEO, said: “In our sector, only organizations with a clear vision, strategy and consistency in execution can aim for a sustainable long-term business and become strategic assets for their countries. We want to be regarded as a partner, not just a supplier, by continuing to ensure an outstanding service and training experience. And we integrate these capabilities into our unique helicopter offer with the ambition of becoming the world leader in the sector. Advanced simulation, augmented reality, artificial intelligence – all embedded today in our US Academy – are examples of this vision. It can leverage on game-changing technologies we are deploying and on investments in the deep digitalization of our offer and processes.”   
Gian Piero Cutillo, Leonardo Helicopters MD, added: “Our new US Training Academy will help to serve the largest market for helicopters in the global industry, and will be part of a continued process to guarantee customer proximity and expand our range of offer. We are committed to devoting every possible effort to continue to build a training culture as part of our value proposition, a true benefit of all our stakeholders, customers, end-users.”  

“We purposely co-located the Academy next to our main production, support, and administrative offices because we wanted to not only provide cutting-edge training with modern technology to our customers, but also give them an inside view of our organization, our culture, and how our product is made and maintained with a constant emphasis on quality and safety” said Bill Hunt, CEO of AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corporation and Managing Director of Leonardo Helicopters US. 

“I want to congratulate Leonardo Helicopters on completing their new Training Academy in the US at their existing production and support campus at Northeast Philadelphia Airport. I am proud of the role this Philadelphia-based team has played in bringing this Academy online, together with their teammates in Italy”, said Jim Kenney, Mayor of the City of Philadelphia.

The first Leonardo Helicopter Training Academy opened in Sesto-Calende (Italy) in 2006 and in its inaugural year provided training to 600 students; by the 2018-2020 period, that number grew to an average of 10,000 annually across the growing global training network also including similar facilities in the United Kingdom, Poland and Malaysia as well as authorized training centres. The latest step in US confirms Leonardo’s commitment to a continued enhancement of the level of customer service. 

Since 1980, the helicopter business of Leonardo has been proud to call Philadelphia, Pennsylvania its home in the United States. Located at Northeast Philadelphia Airport (KPNE) just minutes outside the Central Business District, the facility has grown over the last 40 years from a basic service center to the Leonardo’s US Industrial Center of Excellence for helicopters.  

Leonardo is committed to providing leading, comprehensive support and training services to deliver unprecedented benefits to customers in terms of safety, quality, effectiveness, cost, and sustainability as a cornerstone of Leonardo’s Be Tomorrow 2030 Strategic Plan.

  • Passenger transport, emergency medical service, disaster relief, surveillance and fire-fighting operations in all-weather conditions, day and night
  • Modernise and make a safer, more efficient and sustainable use of helicopters and airspace
  • The Foggia – Tremiti S. Domino Island route is the first of a network currently under development in Apulia

PRESS RELEASE – Foggia, 31 March 2021

ENAV and Leonardo have tested and validated the PBN (Performance Based Navigation) procedure for the Foggia – Tremiti S. Domino Island route in the Apulia region (Southern Italy).

This was carried out with an AW169 helicopter operated by Alidaunia, a company providing transport services to and from the Tremiti Islands, as well as emergency medical service missions which support the relevant local community.
PBN procedures, carried out through advanced satellite navigation and aircraft avionics, significantly contribute to air space optimisation delivering greater flight operation safety thanks to greater navigation, approach and landing precision and accuracy, a key enabler particularly in certain weather conditions. PBN is combined or replaces the more traditional land-based radio navigation systems.
Moreover, PBN procedures ensure a reduction in polluting emissions and noise through dedicated routes and lower fuel consumption. Passenger transport, emergency medical service and rescue, disaster relief operations, surveillance and fire-fighting are among the main applications that can benefit from this technology, in all-weather conditions, day and night. Its adoption and implementation significantly enhance flight safety, environment protection, public service flexibility, responsiveness and effectiveness, and air transport efficiency. The Foggia – Tremiti S. Domino Island route is the first in a network that is being developed locally to support the helicopter operations of the regional heliport network called Rete Eliportuale Puglia. The successfully validated procedures, using a latest generation Leonardo
AW169 helicopter, are the result of a collaboration between Alidaunia and EGSA (European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency) in the framework of the PHAR project (PBN for Hems in the Apulia Region).
The procedures will be characterised by high precision linked to the use of special navigation requirements that will allow safe flight even at low altitude, reducing polluting emissions and noise, integrating helicopter and aircraft operations, with an optimized use of airspace.
ENAV, the Italian air navigation service provider, has been at the forefront of PBN procedures design for both fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft for years. Leonardo, a leading company in the field of aerospace, defence and security producing latest generation helicopters equipped with state-of-the-art avionics and advanced satellite navigation capabilities, such as the AW169, is one of the few manufacturers in the world today able to codify and produce PBN navigation databases.
Alidaunia, always at the forefront in the development and implementation of new technologies, draws important operational benefits in the development of PBN routes ensuring significant advantages in terms of H24 operation and in marginal weather conditions. The demonstration activity in Apulia is the first one carried out since the signing of the Letter of Intent between ENAV and Leonardo announced in October 2020, aimed at offering helicopter operators, in Italy and abroad, products and services in the advanced instrument navigation field, whilst also contributing to modernise the relevant infrastructures. These capabilities, provided through the collaboration between two major players in the aeronautical field, now make possible the development and use of procedures in accordance with the modern requirements of the Performance Based Navigation to support the different phases of flights, increasing safety and operational effectiveness.


Leonardo Helicopters AW169 ( c/n 69060 ) EI-GGH

Thanks to Stefano BENASSI for this fantastic image of the Leonardo AW169 EI-GGH operated by Elitaliana on behalf of ARES 118 Regione Lazio … resting at San Camillo Hospital Helipad. Roma, December 2019.

I-LIDI – Italian Helicopter Register NEWS

Leonardo Helicopters AW169 ( c/n 69063 ) I-LIDI
Leonardo Helicopters AW169 ( c/n 69063 ) I-LIDI

Thanks to Michele MASTASCUSA for these first images of the second Leonardo AW169 operated by Alidaunia as I-LIDI … resting at San Giovanni Rotondo (FG) Helipad, November 2019.