HAI Heli-Expo 2024 … Anaheim, CA

HAI HELI-EXPO 2024 MEDIA POSTS, IMAGES, NEWS

PRESS RELEASE – 27th February 2024

Enstrom Helicopter Corporation is pleased to announce that it has partnered with Kelly Aerospace Thermal Systems to provide air conditioning for Enstrom 280FX and F28F helicopters. The state-of-the-art all-electric system will be STC’d by Kelly and available for installation in factory new aircraft as well as for field installation.

“Air conditioning has been high on our customer’s wish list,” said Dennis Martin, Enstrom’s Chief Commercial Officer. “So when it came time to develop a new system for the 280FX and F28F, we went to the experts at Kelly. Their system is lightweight and incredibly powerful. Enstrom owners will finally be able to enjoy their helicopters in cool comfort during the warm summer months.”

For Kelly, the partnership marks the entry into a new market. “Kelly has long been a leader in air conditioning for general aviation airplanes,” commented Walter Dodge, Kelly’s VP of Business Development. “With that success, we want to expand into the rotorcraft market, and we couldn’t be happier about doing that with Enstrom. Their premium aircraft are the perfect place to showcase our air conditioning technology.”

The new air conditioning system will be available for retrofit later in 2024, and available on factory new aircraft in 2025.

PRESS RELEASE – Anaheim,  28 February 2024

LCI, a leading aviation company, and Airbus Helicopters have unveiled a new Flight Path partnership, which will address the long-term capacity, sustainability and financing requirements of the industry. 

Airbus predicts demand for over 16,000 new helicopters by 2041, with a combined value approaching $130 billion. The new partnership will see LCI and Airbus Helicopters leveraging their combined knowledge, experience and analytical capabilities to identify the infrastructure and financial innovations that will address this demand. 

Flight Path builds upon a 20-year relationship between the companies, which most recently culminated in a collaboration agreement to develop advanced air mobility ecosystems around the CityAirbus Next Gen programme.  Going forward, it will also include investment in further helicopter units, types and technologies, with a growing emphasis around sustainability.

Jaspal Jandu, CEO of LCI, says: “This strategic partnership between LCI and Airbus signals our collective commitment to deliver long-term, sustainable capacity solutions to the market. The combination of Airbus’ long-standing expertise in business development, forecasting and planning, with LCI’s track record in leasing, investing and financial innovation, will enable us to sustainably address the multibillion dollar requirements of the market.”

Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters, says: “LCI and Airbus have worked together in close cooperation for almost two decades, culminating most recently in the delivery commitments for seven next generation helicopters. This new partnership is a natural elevation of this relationship and one that reflects our shared capabilities. Together with our partners, Airbus Helicopters is committed to delivering sustainable growth and innovation to its customers as they undertake their mission-critical work.”

LCI’s fleet currently includes over 50 Airbus helicopters. They are deployed by 14 operators in 10 countries across the globe on a range of missions including emergency medical services, search and rescue and offshore wind.
The first phase of Flight Path will see the committed delivery of at least seven latest generation Airbus helicopters to LCI by 2025. 

LCI has ordered five new Airbus H145 helicopters, all of which are being placed in its joint venture (JV) with Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Company, Limited (SMFL).  The first two aircraft are being delivered by the end of March 2024 and will be operated in Oceania. 

In addition, LCI will deliver two H175 helicopters by the end of March 2024. The aircraft will be operated in South America.

The new partnership aligns with LCI’s long-term commitment to sustainable growth.  LCI is a signatory of Aircraft Leasing Ireland’s (ALI) Sustainability Charter, with a commitment to driving forward and achieving responsibility goals, centred around 10 priority sustainability principles, including a commitment to achieving net zero by 2050.

PRESS RELEASE – Rome,  28 February 2024 10:00

  • Metro will act as Leonardo distributor for the AW09 in the US and Canadian civil markets for all applications.

Leonardo and Metro Aviation, a prime privately-owned HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) operator and service provider in the US, have announced the signing of a Distributor Agreement for the AW09 next generation single engine helicopter. Metro will act as a Leonardo distributor for the type in the US and Canada for all civil market applications. The Distributor Agreement includes a commitment for 30 units that will translate into Preliminary Sales Contracts. 

This latest deal builds on the collaboration started at Heli-Expo 2023 aimed at supporting the introduction and positioning of the AW09 in the USA and in doing so, benefitting from Metro Aviation’s renowned experience and capabilities in the development of Aircraft Interior & STCs (supplemental type certificates), service and training. 

Gian Piero Cutillo, MD of Leonardo Helicopters, said “We’re excited to perform this further step forward in our collaboration with Metro which paves the path to the introduction of our new single engine in the important North American market. Also, combining our industrial capabilities with Metro Aviation’s extensive and recognized experience in operations and support enhances the AW09 value proposition, providing superior mission capabilities to the operators of this platform.“ 

“I first saw the 09 prototype in 2017 and have been excited about bringing it to the U.S. market since then,” said Metro Aviation President and CEO Mike Stanberry.  “Metro has enjoyed a great partnership with Leonardo and designed multiple interiors for the 09.  We look forward to integrating it into our fleet and performing completions for air medical, law enforcement, tourism, and beyond.”

The AW09 continues to generate a very positive response from all geographies worldwide as the programme development progresses. Rotorcraft companies highly welcome the AW09 for its outstanding characteristics and multirole capabilities that represent a significant evolution compared to existing products in this category. The AW09 perfectly complements Leonardo’s product range in the Long Light Single-segment, introducing an all-new design aircraft to sustain long-term competitive positioning in this weight category. A full-scale mock-up of the cabin, together with the advanced connectivity and digital features of the type, is on display at the Leonardo booth at Heli-Expo, attracting lots of interest within the rotorcraft community thanks to its distinguished features in cabin space and ergonomics, and external footprint. The total number of Preliminary Sales Contracts for the AW09 will soon exceed 100 units globally. 

Metro Aviation is the world’s largest air medical completion center and traditional air medical operator, with more than 170 helicopters and airplanes in 27 states and the District of Columbia.  Metro’s presence is evident for many air medical, law enforcement and other components and installations. Metro has developed and received FAA Supplemental Type Certificates (STC’s) for many air medical components and installations including fixed and rotor-wing. Quite often, Metro not only performs the installation, but purchases the aircraft and trains the ground and flight personnel. Its foundation of safety, quality and customer service has remained for 40 years and is still the cornerstone of the company.

  • HealthNet Aeromedical Services expands fleet with order of four Airbus H135 helicopters.

PRESS RELEASE – Anaheim, 27 February 2024

HealthNet Aeromedical Services, headquartered in Charleston, West Virginia, will soon expand its all-Airbus fleet with the addition of four H135 helicopters. As one of the largest hospital-based air medical programmes in the country, the helicopters will be used to serve adult, pediatric and neonatal patients across the state of West Virginia.

“HealthNet has been a valued partner of Airbus Helicopters, Inc. since 1986, and we look forward to supporting their mission as they elevate their fleet with the addition of four new H135s,” said Bart Reijnen, President of Airbus Helicopters, Inc. and Head of the North America region. “These helicopters will be the first in their fleet equipped with Helionix avionics, allowing for increased mission flexibility and safety that benefits their employees and the communities they serve.”

Airbus’ light, twin-engine H135 incorporates the most advanced technologies available, including Airbus Helicopters’ Helionix avionics suite, which, in addition to the 4-axis autopilot, offers an innovative cockpit layout to enhance situational awareness. Designed with three large electronic displays, the H135’s 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.

“HealthNet Aeromedical Services and our three owner health systems are proud to continue to partner with Airbus to enhance our helicopter fleet,” said Clinton Burley, President and CEO. “The purchase of these aircraft exemplifies our programme’s commitment to advancing the delivery of safe and high-quality transport medicine to those we serve.”

HealthNet has exclusively operated Airbus helicopters since the programme’s inception nearly four decades ago, caring for more than 100,000 patients during that time. Their current fleet of eleven aircraft is comprised of H130, H135 and EC145 helicopters.
 
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, as well as 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. The H135 is the global market leader for helicopter emergency medical services with more than 700 helicopters all around the world being used for life-saving missions.

To date, more than 1,500 helicopters of the H135 family have been delivered worldwide, all mission segments included, clocking in more than 7 million flight hours.

PRESS RELEASE – ANAHEIM, CA – February 28, 2024

The Milestone Aviation Group Limited (“Milestone”), the global leader in helicopter leasing, today announced that it has signed lease agreements for two Leonardo AW139 helicopters with new customer, Lufttransport RW AS (“Lufttransport”), a Norwegian helicopter operator. The helicopters are scheduled to deliver in 2025.

Sébastien Moulin, the Head of Europe & Americas, Milestone Aviation, said, “We are very pleased
to welcome Lufttransport as a new customer and to support their growing multi-mission operations.
We thank Erlend Olsen and the Lufttransport team for the trust they have placed in Milestone, and we
look forward to working together as these aircraft deliver.”
“We are delighted to have signed these agreements with Milestone Aviation for two Leonardo AW139
helicopters. The AW139 is an extremely capable aircraft with the highest safety standards and
advanced avionics,” said Erlend Olsen, CEO of Lufttransport. “We thank the Milestone team for their
support, and we look forward to a long and successful relationship with them.”

PRESS RELEASE – Anaheim, 27 February 2024

Leonardo has announced a further growth in presence of the AW139 intermediate twin-engine helicopter in Australia at Heli-Expo 2024, with orders for three more aircraft by LifeFlight Australia. These add to two additional aircraft for LifeFlight’s joint venture partner StarFlight, that had been ordered in late 2023.

The helicopters will be used to carry out emergency medical service and search and rescue response
missions in Queensland with deliveries expected in late 2024. LifeFlight and StarFlight operate one of Australia’s largest fleets with 11 AW139s performing air medical and emergency, rescue response missions, and law enforcement. The arrival of five new aircraft take the total fleet size to 16. Established in 1979, LifeFlight operates an advanced fleet of rotary and fixed-wing jet aircraft and employs highly trained medical teams and is a globally recognised training academy and Approved Maintenance Organisation. The AW139 on order will feature all the latest avionics technology, patient care and search and rescue capability. Reliability, quality and serviceability, technology, size, versatility, readiness and all-round advanced capabilities that the AW139s offer, make these aircraft ideal for EMS requirements in Australia.
This latest contract by LifeFlight announced at Heli-Expo marks a further outstanding success for the best-selling AW139 in Australia, being already the leading model for Emergency Medical Service (EMS) nationwide. More than 130 civil, public utility and military helicopters of various models have been sold by Leonardo in the country to date, supported by unique localized support and MRO (Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul) services. The AW139 has been chosen by several operators in Australia for a range of roles covering HEMS/SAR, law enforcement, offshore transport and government roles with a fleet of over 60 units today in service. The AW139 has been sold by Leonardo in several State Government of the country to carry out a range of law enforcement, patrol and surveillance, maritime search and rescue missions and policing operations. This helicopters is ideal for law enforcement, EMS and parapublic missions thanks to its capability, reliability and safety. A fleet of over 60 units performs all of these missions today in Australia in addition to energy support and transport.
With more than 1200 units delivered to over 300 customers in around 90 nations, and over 4 million flight hours logged to date since its certification in 2004, the AW139 has also proven extremely successful for rescue and emergency missions. The AW139 delivers outstanding capabilities, technology, and safety to meet stringent requirements from operators for tasks in harsh conditions to maximize effectiveness. This type features state-of￾the-art avionics with advanced navigation and collision avoidance systems to enhance situational awareness and reduce pilots’ workload, unmatched speed, power margins, and overall performance; the widest cabin in its category featuring high modularity for rapid reconfiguration; a unique 60+ min run-dry capable main gear box for enhanced reliability and safety; and up to 1000 certified kits.


	

PRESS RELEASE – Anaheim, 28 February 2024

Airbus Helicopters and Bristow Group announced a framework contract for up to fifteen H135 helicopters (five firm orders, plus 10 options) during this year’s HAI Heli-Expo. The delivery of the first helicopter is scheduled for October 2024.

“I’d like to thank the Bristow Group for their renewed trust in our helicopters. Airbus Helicopters and Bristow Group share a long history, and I am very proud to open a new chapter in our partnership”, said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “The H135 has proven it’s perfect for offshore missions with customers all over the world, especially thanks to Airbus Helicopters’ Helionix avionics suite, which reduces pilot workload and increases safety.”

“Our longstanding relationship with Airbus, coupled with our extensive experience operating the H135 since 2006, underscores the helicopter’s exceptional performance and reliability,” said Stu Stavley, Chief Operating Officer, Offshore Energy Services for Bristow Group. “The H135 has proven itself to be a very capable helicopter, both for missions offshore and overland.”

Bristow Group Inc. is a leading global provider of innovative and sustainable vertical flight solutions. Bristow primarily provides aviation services to a broad base of offshore energy companies and government entities. Bristow’s aviation services include personnel transportation, SAR, medevac, fixed-wing transportation, unmanned systems, and ad hoc helicopter services. Bristow already operates a fleet of 10 H135 family helicopters.

The light twin Airbus H135 incorporates the most advanced technologies available, including Airbus Helicopters’ Helionix avionics suite, which, in addition to the 4-axis autopilot, offers an innovative cockpit layout to enhance 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 1,500 helicopters of the H135 family have been delivered worldwide, clocking in more than 7 million flight hours.

PRESS RELEASE – Rome,  28 February 2024 09:30

  • Contract for 20 AW139s plus multiyear Framework Agreement for over 130 helicopters of various types.  
  • THC will significantly strengthen EMS/SAR and passenger transport missions in the country.  

Leonardo and THC (The Helicopter Company), owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, announced yesterday a substantial growth of their collaboration with an order for 20 AW139 intermediate twin-engine helicopters and a multi-year Framework Agreement for over 130 aircraft. The announcement was made during an official ceremony held at Heli-Expo 2024 in Anaheim, CA. 

The contract for 20 AW139s aims at primarily strengthening the emergency medical service (EMS) and search and rescue (SAR) fleet in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with deliveries expected to be carried out in 2025 and 2026. The Framework Agreement for over 130 aircraft includes a mix of AW109s, AW169s, AW139s and AW189Ks for various applications, with a first batch of orders foreseen by the first half of this year and delivery positions to THC over five to seven years. 

The intention to procure these latest 20 AW139s was announced at Heli-Expo 2023. By the time all these latest firmly ordered AW139s are delivered, THC will have a total fleet of approximately 50 AW139s carrying out a range of missions including EMS, SAR and corporate transport in the country, making THC one of the largest AW139 operators globally.  

“We’re proud of this THC’s massive helicopter fleet expansion plan leveraging our technology,” said Gian Piero Cutillo, Managing Director of Leonardo Helicopters. “Our state-of-the-art platforms will support their service capability growth program with key life-saving and transport missions for the communities they serve.” 

The AW139, the world’s most important helicopter program since its certification in 2004 and the bestselling type in its category, has logged orders for more than 1400 units from over 290 customers in over 90 countries to date. The fleet of over 1200 units in service has now exceeded 4 million flight hours. The type has proven extremely successful in the Middle East with almost 200 units sold across the region for the widest scope of missions including corporate transport, emergency medical service, search and rescue, law enforcement, offshore transport, government duties. The AW139 delivers outstanding capabilities, technology and safety to meet stringent requirements from operators for tasks in harsh conditions to maximize effectiveness. 

The type features state-of-the-art avionics with advanced navigation and collision avoidance systems to enhance situational awareness and reduce pilots’ workload, unmatched speed, power margins, and overall performance. In addition, this type includes the widest cabin in its category featuring high modularity for rapid reconfiguration, a unique 60+ min run-dry capable main gear box for enhanced reliability and safety and up to 1000 certified kits. 

The addition of the AW169 and AW189K to the THC’s fleet in the future will allow the operator to benefit from the unique advantages of the AW Family concept based on shared design, components, support and training approach with unprecedented fleet management efficiency and versatility.  

PRESS RELEASE – Anaheim, 27 February 2024

The Helicopter Company (THC), Saudi Arabia’s premier provider of commercial helicopter services and fully owned by the Public Investment Fund, has signed a historic framework agreement with Airbus at the HAI Heli-Expo, currently taking place at Anaheim Convention Center, California.

The framework agreement will include up to 120 Airbus helicopters of various types set to be delivered over the next five to seven years. Part of the deal is a firm order for eight H125s along with 10 H145s that are converted options from an earlier contract, bringing THC’s total firm Airbus helicopter fleet to 60, 25 of which are already in service today.

The new H125 helicopters will support the delivery of THC’s range of services in areas including aerial work and tourism. The H145s will be used in a variety of roles including Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and corporate transport.

“Our relationship with THC started in 2020 with the first contract for 10 H125s. Since then, it’s gone from strength to strength, moving beyond just helicopters to also look at how we can help pave the way for the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel in the region. This latest framework agreement reinforces the scope of our offering and we thank THC for allowing us to help expand their helicopter activity,” said Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO.

The CEO of THC, Capt Arnaud Martinez, said, “We are delighted to announce our framework agreement with Airbus, a transformative moment in our growth journey which solidifies our position as a global player as well as regional leader. The agreement will enable us to both contribute to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals through strengthening Saudi’s aviation sector whilst also meeting the changing needs of our growing customer base, both locally and globally. Our collaboration with Airbus will reshape the aviation landscape as together, we will push the boundaries of innovation and showcase that with the right partner, everything is possible in aviation.”

The Helicopter Company is at the forefront of developing commercial helicopter services in the Kingdom, having introduced the H145 into service for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and deployed both the H145 and H125 in support of the Dakar Rally. Last year the company took delivery of its first ACH160 for Red Sea Global tourism operations.

The worldwide best-selling H125 has accumulated more than 40 million flight hours with more than 5,350 helicopters currently in operation. The model, known for its robustness, versatility, hot and high performance, and is widely used in highly demanding missions.

Airbus’ H145 is designed to deliver excellent performance throughout the flight envelope, and is the latest member of the company’s four-tonne-class twin-engine rotorcraft product range – with designed-in mission capability and flexibility, especially in high and hot operating conditions. There are more than 1,675 helicopters of this family in service, logging a total of more than 7.6 million flight hours. Its particularly low acoustic footprint makes the H145 the quietest helicopter in its class.

THC was established as part of Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF)’s strategy to activate new sectors in Saudi Arabia that support the realisation of Vision 2030 by creating an entire new ecosystem for general aviation services and introducing safe and efficient transport services across the kingdom. THC is the Kingdom’s premier commercial helicopter operator and has been operating since mid-2019. THC currently has 47 aircraft that serve diverse segments, including Emergency Medical Services (EMS), aerial work, private charters and tourism in the Kingdom. To learn more about their services and commitment to building the aviation ecosystem in the region and beyond, visit THC’s stand #7405 in the Anaheim Convention Center.

PRESS RELEASE – Anaheim, 27 February 2024

German helicopter emergency medical services operator DRF Luftrettung and Airbus Helicopters have announced orders for up to ten H145 helicopters (seven firm orders, three options).

“It is the mission of DRF Luftrettung to continuously improve medical care for people in need. With the new order of ten additional H145s, we continue to ensure the optimal service for our patients by keeping the helicopter fleet as modern and flexible as possible for our life-saving missions,” said Dr. Krystian Pracz, CEO of DRF Luftrettung.

“As an operator that deploys its fleet for emergency medical services, the DRF Luftrettung truly understands the importance that a helicopter’s performance can have in making a decisive difference in the care a patient receives. We are therefore very grateful for the continued trust that they place in our helicopters,” said Thomas Hein, Head of Europe Region at Airbus Helicopters. “We are proud to see that over the last decade the H145 has become the backbone of DRF Luftrettung’s fleet performing life-saving missions in Germany and Europe.”

The ordered helicopters will also be covered by DRF’s fleet-wide HCare Smart contract, which provides comprehensive parts-by-the-hour support.

DRF Luftrettung is one of the largest and most experienced air rescue organisations in Europe. The organisation and its subsidiaries operate more than 50 Airbus H135 and H145 helicopters at 40 bases throughout Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland for emergency rescue and intensive care transport operations. In addition to this, they are also deployed for  special missions, including hoist operations and day and night operations.

The new version of Airbus’ best-selling H145 adds a new, innovative five-bladed rotor to the multi-mission H145, increasing the useful load of the helicopter by 150 kg. The simplicity of the new bearingless main rotor design eases maintenance operations, improving the serviceability benchmark and reliability of the H145, while improving flight comfort for both passengers and crew.

In total, there are more than 1,675 H145 family helicopters in service, logging a total of more than 7.6 million flight hours. Powered by two Safran Arriel 2E engines, the H145 is equipped with a full authority digital engine control (FADEC) and the Helionix digital avionics suite. It includes a high performance 4-axis autopilot, increasing safety and reducing pilot workload. Its particularly low acoustic footprint makes the H145 the quietest helicopter in its class, while its CO2 emissions are the lowest amongst its competitors.