UAE’s NRSC selects Artemis for AW139 SAR fleet

By SARNo Comments

Host of the International Search & Rescue conference and exhibition, the United Arab Emirates National Search and Rescue Centre (UAE-NRSC), has announced that it will adopt the Smith Meyers Artemis detection system for its fleet of search rescue helicopters.

Commenting on the announcement UAE NRSC General Manager, H.E. Maj. Gen. Dr Stephen A. Toumajan, General Manager, said, “Smith Myers and Artemis outperformed others during extensive in-country testing. This new and unique sensor will lead to more rapid and positive Search and Rescue mission outcomes.” 

Meanwhile,  Andrew Munro, Company Director at Smith Myers, attending the conference as a guest speaker, said, “We are proud to be working with NSRC to bring this new and life-saving capability to the UAE. Working with NSRC has been a great experience. But for us, this is where the relationship begins, as we support the transition to operations of our new T-A ARTEMIS system with NSRC.”

Leonardo awards HeliService International ‘excellent service centre’ status

By EUROPEAN ROTORS 2022No Comments

Leonardo is consolidating its strategy to strengthen  support and maintenance services offered to its customer base in Germany and Europe through the appointment of HeliService international GmbH (HeliService) as an Excellent Service Centre. The ‘Excellent’ ranking is assigned to selected Service Centres focused on maintaining third party fleets with the largest scope of service capabilities, while guaranteeing Leonardo’s customers stringent expectations continue to be met and specific market requirements are considered.

 As a result of this appointment,  HeliService will be able to deliver MRO support for  AW109 , AW16, and AW139 twin types. These aircraft’s importance and presence in Europe have constantly increased over recent years, with further potential in Germany. HeliService has operated AW139s and AW169s for offshore wind farm support missions in the North Sea over the last few years delivering outstanding operational capability and safety standards with ongoing successful expansion in Asia and USA, adding three new AW169s from next summer. Commenting on the elevation; Roy Hurrel, Head of Maintenance Munich/ Oberpfaffenhofen, said: “To be only 1 of 6 Leonardo Excellent Service Centres worldwide is a great confirmation of the quality of our work. Being part of this team fills me with pride.”


Carabinieri Air Service orders 20 AW119Kx helicopters

By Law EnforcementNo Comments

Italy’s Carabinieri have concluded an aircraft, support and training package deal with Leonardo that will the see national gendarmerie’s air wing take 20 AW119Kx helicopters.

The aircraft will allow the Carabinieri to meet its fleet modernisation requirements and strengthen and enhance the security of national communities. This will be made possible by carrying out a range of patrol and reconnaissance tasks over land, identifying critical targets and gathering investigation evidence, as well as supporting ground units’ activities.

Other duties comprise environment monitoring and protection, and, if asked by National Disaster Relief Authority, fire-fighting in addition to rescue missions. The helicopters will be based at the service’s 18 bases across the country. Their equipment will allow full interoperability with other Carabinieri assets and allow cooperation with those of other armed forces and government agencies, both in-country and internationally.

Commenting on the order, Gian Piero Cutillo, MD of Leonardo Helicopters, said: “The introduction of the AW119Kx in the Carabinieri Air Service’s fleet ideally integrates the capabilities the operator already has chosen thanks to the AW139s and AW169s. The helicopters respond to the wide spectrum of the Air Service’s requirements considering their national duties and an evolving and increasingly complex operational scenario. We’re proud to continue to support the Carabinieri with capabilities that are able to face new security challenges and benefit the national communities.”

Delivery of the aircraft is expected to begin next year and continue until 2026.

First production AW609 takes flight

By BusinessNo Comments

Last Thursday, the first production example of the AW609 made its maiden flight Leonardo have revealed. The aircraft (designated AC5) has begun flying in support of the flight test programme joining one US based and two Italian prototypes and and will be used to explore and expand the type’s mission capabilities as the test programme draws to it’s conclusion.

Three more examples of the type all destined for customer delivery are presently on the company’s final assembly line. Following completion of the flight test programme and certification AC5 will be retained by Leonardo for type development and customer demonstrations.




Sazma Aviation adds another AW139 to fleet

By Offshore operationsNo Comments

Malaysia’s Sazma Aviation has taken delivery of a AW139 Leonardo aircraft directly from Leonardo’s Vertigate assembly line. The aircraft which is leased to Sazma by Abu Dhabi Aviation (ADA) will be used primarily in support of the energy industry although it may also be tasked for VIP transport. The aircraft is the third which it has leased from ADA and comes fully equipped with Honeywell’s Primus Epic Phase 8 avionics suite with synthetic vision, improved 2D maps and wireless data loading delivering even greater all-weather capabilities and mission effectiveness, and EGPWS (Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System) and the ability to design custom approaches to facilities like oil rigs.

ADA has a portfolio of 50 helicopters 27 of which are Leonardo aircraft, predominantly AW139s although increasingly it also offers the AW169 as a light intermediate alternative to the 139.

Leonardo UK expand flight test team

By PeopleNo Comments

Leonardo UK’s helicopter test flight team continues to go from strength to strength with Kealey Judd joining the crew as a trainee flight test engineer. Judd has recently completed her first phase in qualifying as professional aircrew, a Certificate of Qualification on Type AW101 Flight Test Engineer (FTE) (Cabin) and will now progress through to Phase 2, which will include qualification to operate in the cockpit of the Leonardo AW101 helicopter, and then in the cabin and cockpit of other Leonardo helicopters. She joins Ben Standen and Joshua Sleeman who passed their qualifications at the beginning of the year. “I am now certified to go and work in the cabin of the AW101 helicopter on my own, it means I can supervise passengers, operate avionics and complete flight test tasks without supervision from a senior FTE. ” explained Judd.

 Judd is a graduate of Swansea University with a degree in Aerospace Engineering.  As part of her degree, she completed a year in industry at DSTL (UK MOD’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory) in its Helicopters Department, which sparked her interest in rotary-wing.  Kealey joined Leonardo’s Graduate Scheme in 2018. Choosing Leonardo for the next step in Kealey’s career was an easy choice with Leonardo as the UK’s only helicopter manufacturer.

ARCSAR network to run Arctic catastrophe exercise

By SARNo Comments

The Arctic Security and Emergency Preparedness Network (ARCSAR) will be testing Smith Myers ARTEMIS SAR fitted to a Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNorAF) AW101 during a live exercise in Norway’s arctic Svalbard archipelago this month. The exercise is intended to demonstrate a range of technologies and applications on both crewed and unmanned aircraft.

The exercise has been prompted by the growth in commercial traffic in the high arctic region and northern passages as result of growth in tourism as well as offshore oil and gas activity. Shipping traffic on transpolar routes is expected grow sharply in the near future as a result of changing sea ice conditions. Nevertheless, the challenges of SAR operations in the region; severe weather, poor communications and infrastructure and limited resources will need to be overcome as demand increases.

Agusta brand gets Latin American premiere at LABACE

By Corporate AviationNo Comments

Leonardo will introduce it’s Agusta brand and services to the Latin American market at LABACE which opens in Sao Paolo today.

The Agusta brand updates the distinctive factors that made the company famous and popular among world’s and regional operators, adding more solutions and services as technology evolves further.

The first example of combining heritage and innovation was presented with the all new rotorcraft terminal designated Casa Agusta – jointly with Falcon Aviation – in Dubai in late 2021.

Bristow sign multiple maintenance deals in support of its AW139, 189 and S92 fleets

By MRONo Comments

Bristow Group has announced that it has signed a maintenance agreements with Leonardo Helicopters and Pratt & Whitney which will see the company’s entire fleet of AW139s under the same maintenance and support umbrella.

The legacy Era AW139 fleet was previously covered by a limited power-by-the-hour (“PBH”) support agreement with Leonardo for the airframes, while the engines were maintained on a time and cost of materials basis. The legacy Bristow AW139 fleet was covered by multiple, disparate PBH support agreements with Leonardo for the airframes, and the engines were covered under a PBH agreement with Pratt & Whitney. The new agreements result in consistent, global maintenance support programs for Bristow’s AW139 helicopters, both the airframes and the engines.

“Following the merger of Era and Bristow in June 2020, we have been working for two years to align our AW139 maintenance support agreements on the most favourable terms possible for Bristow,” said Stuart Stavley, Senior Vice President, Global Fleet Management. “The cost certainty contained in these agreements is particularly valuable given the broader economic backdrop of the current inflationary environment.”

In addition to the AW139 agreements, Bristow has also signed long-term maintenance support agreements with Leonardo for the AW189 airframe and with Honeywell for the AW139 avionics suite. The company has also signed a long-term maintenance agreement with General Electric for support of AW189 and S-92 engines.

LCI pick up 19 aircraft in deal valued at USD115m

By BusinessNo Comments


Libra Group subsidiary LCI has announced that it has acquired 19 helicopters from a consortium led by Lobo Leasing together with its partners RIVE private investment and Turning Rock Partners. The deal values the portfolio at USD115m. While the details of the make-up of the portfolio remains under wraps, RotorHub can reveal the lion’s share of the portfolio is made up of AW139s but also includes  S-92s, S-76C+s, B-206s, and AS332L1s.

 All the aircraft included in the deal are presently on lease with eight of the helicopters in South America while the remainder are placed with lessors in Europe and Africa and brings the total number of countries served by LCI assets to 28. Commenting on the deal Jaspal Jandu, CEO of LCI, said: “This portfolio acquisition is another major step in LCI’s strategic plan and reflects our confidence in the helicopter market. Our team and partners have performed strongly, and the assets will be seamlessly incorporated onto our leasing platform, driving further efficiencies of scale.”

Meanwhile,George Logothetis, Chairman and CEO of LCI’s parent company, the Libra Group, added: “The continued expansion of LCI’s fleet represents another strategic and forward-looking investment by the company. LCI continually works to demonstrate foresight and agility in meeting customer needs, with a nimble and future-focused approach that reflects the ethos of all across our Group.”

Since its inception in 2004, LCI has undertaken in excess of US$8 billion of transactions in the aviation markets.