Leonardo delivered its 1,000th AW139 helicopter to Italy’s Guardia di Finanza during an official ceremony held at its plant in Vergiate in Varese, Italy on Sept. 20.
The event was attended by institutional representatives, customers, partners and suppliers, as well as the company’s top management and employees.
Leonardo’s CEO, Alessandro Profumo, said: “What we celebrate today is much more than the success of a product or of a company. It is the global affirmation of an asset of our entire country. Thanks to the commitment, knowledge and professional skills present at Leonardo and to our products, like the AW139, our host of technologies and history of flight innovation – these all form important pillars of our industrial capabilities. The AW139 is a striking example of the role that Leonardo plays and intends to continue to have in the world. All our values are reflected in the AW139: continuous innovation, internationalisation, proximity to the market and to the customer, and the enhancement of human resources”.
Leonardo Helicopters’ Managing Director, Gian Piero Cutillo, added: “With the AW139 the company has been able to create an extraordinary programme with international roots and with its global success this has allowed us to reach the top of the industry’s world helicopter market. Without the self-denial, the preparation and the passion of workers from different generations and nationalities who believed in and worked on its development, and who still follow it in its operational path by constantly confronting the market and customers, all this would not have been possible.”
The AW139’s first flight took place in 2001. The aircraft has shown good reliability and operational capabilities with almost 2.5 million flight hours recorded since the first delivery in 2004.
The AW139 has been enhanced significantly in just a few years, adapting to the changing needs of customers. The maximum take-off weight was increased from 6.4 to 7 tons. Almost 1,000 mission kits and equipment have been certified. The helicopter is produced on different assembly lines both in Italy, in the Vergiate plant, and in Philadelphia, USA.
The helicopter currently boasts orders of over 1,100 units from more than 280 customers in over 70 countries. AW139 helicopters are generally use for search and rescue and air ambulance, law enforcement, firefighting, disaster relief; offshore transport; military missions and VIP, institutional and corporate transport missions.