Leonardo announced orders for three VIP-configured helicopters yesterday at LABACE 2022. Two AW169s and one AW109 Trekker will be delivered to two different private operators next year. The first AW169 and the Trekker will be delivered to an unnamed operator in fourth-quarter 2023, while the other AW169 is expected to be handed over to a different user in the third quarter. The helicopters will feature highly customized configurations and interiors and will be delivered by Leonardo’s new service and logistics center in Itapevi, Brazil.
These latest orders will bring the number of VIP-outfitted AW169s in Brazil to 14. Of the more than 900 Leonardo VIP helicopters in service worldwide today, nearly 25 percent of them are based in Latin America. Leonardo claims a 45 percent share of the world’s twin-engine VIP/corporate helicopter market over the past 10 years.
The AW169 entered service in 2015 and features Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210A engines that can be operated on the ground with one engine in auxiliary power mode, allowing key systems like air conditioning, heating, and avionics to be operated. The AW109 Trekker light twin mates the AW109 Grand airframe to skid gear and is equipped with the Genesys Aerosystems glass cockpit that can be configured for either VFR or IFR operations.