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MEBAA (Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association)
MEBAA (Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association)
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Leonardo premiers VIP Agusta brand at LABACE
Leonardo has taken orders at LABACE for two AW169 light intermediate twins and one AW109 Trekker light twin engine helicopter. It also took the opportunity to debut its VIP interior layouts.
Leonardo's Itapevi service centre. Photo by Omar Paixão.

Leonardo has received new orders for two AW169 light intermediate twins and one AW109 Trekker light twin engine helicopter at LABACE.

One AW169 and the AW109 Trekker will be delivered to a private operator in Q4 2023. The other AW169 is expected to be handed over to its user in Q3 2023. The helicopters will feature highly customised configurations and interiors and will benefit from the advanced and comprehensive support solutions that will be delivered by Leonardo's new service and logistics centre in Itapevi.

These latest orders for the AW169 bring the number purchased by VIP operators in Brazil to 14. The only latest generation helicopter in its category in over 30 years, the AW169 combines light twin economics and greater payload, range and larger volume. Cockpit and cabin comfort for crews and passengers on board are supported by an APU mode capability, allowing key systems like air conditioning, heating and radio by leveraging power generated by one of the two engines. This enables the use of onboard equipment in any weather and geographical condition, with no need to keep the rotors running, translating to greater safety, less noise and lower fuel consumption and emissions. The modern digital glass cockpit features touch screen technology and a versatile representation of all key information, delivering greater situational awareness to the pilot and reducing workload.

The AW109 Trekker builds on the success of the legacy AW109, Leonardo's first light twin to offer skid landing gear. It is equipped with the latest generation Genesys Aerosystems glass cockpit that can be configured according to customer needs for one or two pilots, VFR or IFR.

The OEM took the opportunity at the expo to provide an update on what's next under its Agusta VIP brand. This includes Interior Moods layouts, a new integrated maintenance service plan and a dedicated Agusta section in the Leonardo Helicopter Customer Portal.

The Interior Moods, initially created for the AW169, AW139 and AW189 helicopter types, consists of three all new different options inspired by the names of iconic cities based on specific colours, materials, seat configurations and onboard options.

The new AGUSTAfor YOU helicopter service plan, specifically developed for operators of corporate rotorcraft, is intended to enhance aircraft availability, reduce inventory costs and optimise expenses. It covers scheduled and unscheduled maintenance of airframe/avionics components and other items. Types initially supported include the AW109 GrandNew, AW169 and AW139 and the plan is to extend it to other platforms in the future. Furthermore, on the Leonardo Helicopter Customer Portal, VIP operators will have a dedicated area to verify the progress and status of their helicopter manufacturing and testing that also includes images.

Over the last year Leonardo has strengthened the quality of services supporting helicopter operators in Brazil and Latin America with a new service and logistics centre headquartered in Itapevi, 30km outside São Paolo; an investment of around $9.2m. The site is based on an 80,000 sqm area, of which 6,000 sqm comprises buildings and infrastructure, and it can host up to 20 aircraft simultaneously. Aircraft maintenance, training facilities and a range of industry capabilities such as painting and completion will be added over time, with expansion of service capacity by up to 50 per cent compared to the previous dedicated site. The new site is expected to host up to 370 aircraft every year.

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