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​Rotorcraft Asia: Koalas ready for Asia-Pacific

10th April 2017 - 15:00 GMT | by Helen Haxell in London


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The Leonardo Helicopters single-engine AW119 Koala helicopter's recent orders across the Asia-Pacific region is helping to boost the aircraft's presence within the region, according to company officials.

The AW119 is available in the utility application while the AW119Kx is available in EMS, SAR, VIP and corporate. A company spokesperson noted that the latter model also works well as a training aircraft.

'The [AW119] Koala in our view is the perfect aircraft for high standard training… So, it's an aircraft that can perform some utility services. It can also be used as a single-engine alternative utility,' the spokesperson said.

Regarding on-board capabilities, the aircraft is equipped with synthetic vision, a moving map, and obstacle/terrain avoidance systems.

'The Koala is equipped with the Garmin 1000 cockpit, which is the main thing, but it is an aircraft that can have a rescue hoist, a cargo hook… it has an AFCS – it is virtually an autopilot without a flight director so not many single-engine helicopters have this ability.

'As the Koala comes from a twin-engine aircraft, it also carries a dual hydraulic, dual electrical systems and duel fuel system – so there are number of redundancies that make it a fantastic single-engine aircraft.'

By the end of 2015, more than 250 AW119-series helicopters had been ordered by over 110 customers in more than 30 countries, with more recent sales going to corporate clients in the Philippines in March 2017.

Leonardo Helicopters has more than 350 helicopters within the Asia-Pacific region, according to a recent Asian Sky Group report.

Furthermore, the report notes that the Koala has proven particularly popular in China in relation to the EMS configuration. This has been emphasised through an order last year signed by Sino-US Intercontinental Helicopter Investment for 25 AW119Kx helicopters. Delivery is expected this year.

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