Helitech 2018: Leonardo undaunted by super-medium competition
According to the company, orders, deliveries and flight hours of the 8t category helicopter, outstrip those of Airbus and Bell, both of whom are considered the main contenders aiming to knock the Anglo-Italian manufacturer off its perch.
‘The production rate is significant in its category,’ a Leonardo spokesperson told Shephard, in a statement. ‘We have received orders (including options) for around 160 units to date and delivered over 60 to customers worldwide logging approximately 45,000 flight hours across the fleet in operations.’
With the AW189K variant also undergoing engine testing, there is growing evidence that the programme is set to expand capabilities with customers eventually set to be offered the Safran Aneto 1K powerplant, a considerable upgrade on the current GE CT7-2E1 turboshaft.
No firm indication was provided from the spokesperson in suggesting a timeframe for the entire testing period or subsequent entry to market.
From an oil and gas perspective, the spokesperson explained that integration of an avionics suite with automatic oil rig approach performance has been designed to address and improve AW189 flight safety.
On the SAR front, it is claimed that operators will also benefit from the aircraft’s ‘new ground speed mode on five available search patterns’, a feature enabling a consistent ground speed to be travelled during challenging and complex missions.
In more welcome news for Leonardo, last month, it was also confirmed that the Bristow Group had been selected to operate two AW189s on behalf of the British HM Coastguard's SAR helicopter base at St Athan.
The pair of helicopters are scheduled to replace AW139 helicopters, joining existing AW189s in service at Lydd, Lee-on-Solent and Prestwick.
Patria is taking the opportunity to showcase its range of helicopter support and MRO services at Helitech International, alongside the Cloudburst fire bucket, which is ...
With Helitech International drawing to a close, Shephard's rotary desk recounts the news, industry rumour and lessons to take from a week spent at the ...
Euroavionics, a subsidiary of Hensoldt, is working to introduce a new VTOL UAV – dubbed Vader – into the already crowded unmanned market as the ...
After a few years out of the French market, Enstrom Helicopter Corporation has returned to the European country with a sale of its 280FX helicopter ...
The Swiss based helicopter training and services agency Next-Generation Flight Training has called on the helicopter industry to make a concerted effort to collaborate with ...
Having announced an impressive haul of 19 orders during Helitech International, largely buoyed by light single and light twin returns, Airbus continues to consolidate its ...