Helicopters Leonardo delivers 1,000th AW139 helicopter

Helicopter manufacturer Leonardo has announced that it has delivered AW139 number 1000.

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The thousandth AW139 helicopter was delivered to Italy´s Guardia di Finanza. The delivery represents a huge milestone for the manufacturer´s programme. It underlines that the AW139 continues to be a popular choice for operators around the world.

A special celebration at Leonardo´s plant in Vergiate (Italy) was held. Institutional representatives, customers, partners and suppliers attended the event, as well as the company´s top management and employees.

Back in 2001, the AW139 performed its first flight. Since then, the worldwide fleet has recorded almost 2.5 million flight hours. More than 30% of all AW139 flights are for public utility tasks like SAR, air ambulance, firefighting, law enforcement and disaster relief flights. Further 30% are being flown for offshore transport missions and 20% of AW139 flights are for military tasks. The opportunity to use the aircraft for VIP and corporate transport missions as well underlines the versatility of the AW139.

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."

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."

A third of the AW139 customers come from Europe, almost as much from Asia and Australia. 15% of all customers operate in the American continent. Leonardo stated, that the international success of the aircraft is important for the manufacturer to meet market demands. Along with the plant in Vergiate, Leonardo has a final assembly line in Philadelphia (United States).

In the aircraft family of Leonardo, the AW139 is the forefather of a family that comprises the smaller and lighter AW169 and the larger and heavier AW189. All of these types share the same design philosophy, high performance and flight characteristics.

Source © leonardocompany.com

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