AW109 and AW139 milestones

Leonardo Helicopters achieved additional milestones in December, with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) granting type certification to its AW109 Trekker, while the popular AW139 notched up two million flying hours.

The Italian helicopter manufacturer announced the EASA certification of the latest version of the AW109 on December 27 and it said deliveries to customers will commence in the first quarter of 2018.

The new variant is based on the AW109 Grand range and is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207C engines, with a cabin that can accommodate up to six passengers, one stretcher patient and three or four medical attendants, or two stretchers and two medics. Leonardo says the aircraft can be configured for the emergency medical services, SAR, law enforcement and utility or VIP transport roles. By early 2018, over 40 AW109 Trekkers were on order for customers around the world.

In other news, the company also announced the AW139’s two million flight-hour milestone in December, with the fleet leader (PH-PHL c/n 31041) from CHC Helicopters Netherlands contributing over 12,000 hours to the total.

A Leonardo Helicopters statement said: “This accomplishment was reached just three years after the achievement of the first million, showing impressive reliability, effectiveness, safety and supportability across a range of missions. Nearly 900 units are in service out of more than 1,000 on order by more than 300 customers in 80 countries worldwide.”

The most recent AW139 orders announced were for two helicopters for the Italian Servizio Aereo della Guardia Costiera (Coast Guard Air Service) and six for the Guardia di Finanza (Customs and Border Protection Service), both announced on December 11, and with deliveries to be completed by 2020. The Coast Guard currently operates four AW139s and its fleet has already surpassed 10,000 flying hours. Nigel Pittaway