Leonardo: AW109 Trekker FAA certification opens U.S. market

The AW109 Trekker light twin engine helicopter has been issued with type certification by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), allowing the newest aircraft in its category to enter the U.S. market. The fastest light twin for quick law enforcement and rescue intervention and the only featuring a cabin allowing full patient body accessibility from head to toes for emergency medical services (EMS), the AW109 Trekker is ideally positioned to capture opportunities in North America, the largest EMS market for light twins with many in-service fleets needing replacement. Previous variants of the AW109s have proven extremely popular in North America for VIP, EMS, utility and homeland security roles.

The AW109 Trekker light twin engine helicopter. Leonardo Photo
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The AW109 Trekker maintains the AW109 Grand airframe, large cabin and top class performance while offering greater payload at a competitive cost, thus proving perfectly suited to meet the stringent requirements of operators in terms of capabilities and cost/effectiveness. The AW109 Trekker is the latest addition to Leonardo’s helicopter portfolio and the company’s first light twin to offer skid landing gear.

The Genesys Aerosystems “glass” cockpit provides pilots only with the necessary information to help reduce their workload while flying in challenging environments and in demanding weather conditions. The AW109 Trekker retains the same characteristics of high productivity, excellent performance and flying qualities, high maneuverability, robustness, advanced navigation capabilities and high inherent safety of the other light twin helicopters produced by Leonardo. Power is provided by two full authority digital engine control- (FADEC) equipped Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207C turbine engines.

The spacious cabin, the same size as the Grand/GrandNew, can accommodate up to six passengers or one stretcher with three/four medical attendants or two stretchers and two medical attendants. Capable of single pilot operation, an additional passenger can be carried in the cockpit if required. The AW109 Trekker incorporates many safety features including a cocoon-type airframe; crash resistant fuel system, crew and passengers seats, full Cat. A / Class 1 performance in hot environments and a 30 minute ‘run-dry’ main gear box. The aircraft is designed with a modular configuration approach in order to meet different needs, from single pilot visual flight rules (VFR) to dual pilot instrument flight rules (IFR).

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A wide range of role equipment is available including a cargo hook, external rescue hoist, searchlight, external loudspeakers, FLIR (Forward Looking Infra-Red) camera, video downlink, snow skis and emergency floats as well as a wide range of interior layouts to meet various customers’ operational requirements. Leonardo’s customer support and training global network provides AW109 Trekker operators with a range of service plans and a state-of-the-art training capability to maximise operational safety and aircraft availability. The AW109 Trekker can be easily configured for a wide range of roles and is the ideal solution for EMS, search-and-rescue (SAR), law enforcement, utility, surveillance, passenger transport and government duties.

Orders for more than 60 AW109 Trekkers have been logged so far by customers in Europe, North and Latin America, Asia to perform roles like emergency medical service, law enforcement, utility and passenger transport missions. Deliveries to customers started in 2018.

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