One year after completing the acquisition of the Swiss Company Kopter Group AG (Kopter), Leonardo has integrated the SH09 single-engine helicopter as a full member of its product range; rebranding it as the AW09.
Gian Piero Cutillo, Leonardo Helicopters MD, said: “The product with the people and their skills were all important reasons for the acquisition of Kopter. As we make the Kopter team part of our family through the ongoing integration, we now have the latest addition to our product range fully identified with Leonardo, while preserving its invaluable distinguished features. With the AW09, we’re more than ever fully committed to pursuing a revolution in the single-engine market and setting an all-new standard.”
The third prototype (P3) has now logged in excess of 40 flight hours in Switzerland since mid-January in its new configuration. This includes enhancements in the main rotor head, gearbox, an extended rotor mast and a new design of the flight controls, combined with the modern Garmin G3000H cockpit. All of this brings even better flight characteristics, performance and ease of maintenance. The AW09 next prototype, PS4, is expected to fly this year, followed by the PS5.
The Leonardo press release stated that they anticipate Kopter contributing to the development of new hybrid and electrical propulsion systems and playing an important role in the framework of Leonardo’s Be Tomorrow 2030 strategic plan, which aims to be in the leading position on the civil rotorcraft market and modern air mobility.