The single-engine AW09 helicopter is set to launch on the North American market. To this end, the aerospace, defense and security group Leonardo from Rome has partnered with Metro Aviation based in the U.S. State of Louisiana.
According to a press release from Leonardo, Metro Aviation is a leading helicopter emergency medical service provider. The objective of the collaboration between the two companies is supporting the introduction and positioning of the AW09 in the USA. Leonardo also wants to benefit from Metro Aviation’s renowned experience and capabilities in the development of aircraft interior and supplemental type certificate, service and training.
“Combining our industrial capabilities with Metro Aviation’s extensive and recognized experience in operations and support enhances the AW09 value proposition,” said Gian Piero Cutillo, MD Leonardo Helicopters, at the signing ceremony. This provides “superior mission capabilities to the operators of this platform in a prime single engine market like USA”.
The first AW09 prototypes had been built by Kopter from Glarus and the Kopter team at the Mollis site have continued to be responsible for its development even after the acquisition by Leonardo in 2020. Following test flights, the development of a final, fifth prototype is planned by the end of 2023. The helicopter is then to be certified in the EU. mm