Rotor & Wing International

Leonardo Helicopters

Partner content from Leonardo.

With the approach that success lies in new products, new technology and innovative ideas, Leonardo has recently achieved FAA certification of its all-new AW169, making its family concept of helicopters a now complete reality.

Focused on delivering value, the advancements in this latest platform bring the newest achievements in rotorcraft directly to customers and for the benefit of those they transport.

After certification by EASA in 2015, the AW169 became FAA certified this year with deliveries to U.S. customers expected by year-end. The first all-new light intermediate helicopter in nearly 30 years, the AW169 was launched, developed, tested, certified and delivered in just more than five years.

With true open architecture for extensive growth potential, the AW169 is a highly customizable, multi-role helicopter.

With more than 160 agreements with customers around the world including orders and options, and more than 30 deliveries to date, interest in the AW169 can be attributed to customer preferences for helicopters with quiet and comfortable interiors and innovative safety features. The AW169 incorporates several new technology features in the rotor system, engines, avionics, transmission and electric power generation and distribution systems, and can accommodate up to ten passengers in its large, unobstructed cabin.

Central to Leonardo’s focus on technology and efficiency is the advanced variable-speed main-rotor feature, which improves efficiency and reduces the external noise footprint. The AW169 boasts several additional advanced aerodynamic solutions that were incorporated into the airframe as a result of engineering achievements via the European Clean Sky Green Rotorcraft GRC2 Drag Reduction program.

The AW169 is also the first helicopter in its category entering the market with an electric retractable landing gear, reducing complexity and maintenance requirements.

Much of what Leonardo is doing to continually invest and further innovate the AW169 is linked to market demand.

As announced in 2016, Leonardo is developing full ice-protection systems for the AW169 to meet the needs of Rega Swiss Air-Rescue’s all-weather helicopter requirement.

“Project Icebird confirms Rega’s strong confidence in our technology, customization capabilities and the outstanding performance of the AW169,” said Daniele Romiti, managing director of Leonardo Helicopters. “We look forward to working with them to bring their specialized AW169 into service.”

According to Leonardo, the AW169s will bring Rega into a new era in terms of technology and mission capability. Rega AW169s will feature a jointly developed, highly-customized EMS/SAR configuration to meet its future all-weather requirements. This will include a full ice-protection system for operations in known icing conditions, making the AW169 the lightest helicopter ever built with such a feature.

“With the new rescue helicopter, we will be able to extend our scope of operations and in the future come to the aid of more people in distress than ever before,” said Rega CEO Ernst Kohler.