Leonardo delivered on January 24 the 300th AW139 assembled at its Northeast Philadelphia facility. The aircraft is a Boeing MH-139A Grey Wolf assigned to the United States Air Force. The site, which serves as Leonardo Helicopters’ North America headquarters, has been operational since 1980 and employs over 700. Leonardo Helicopters Philadelphia also manufactures the AW119 helicopter, a variant of which was selected by the U.S. Navy on January 13, and the world’s first commercial tiltrotor, the AW609.
The AW139 is the most successful helicopter program in the last 15 years, boasting over 1150 orders from more than 280 customers in over 70 countries on all continents with over 2.6 million flight hours since the first delivery in 2004. The versatile helicopter is used for search and rescue, air ambulance, law enforcement, firefighting, disaster relief, offshore transport, military tasks, and private/ corporate missions. In addition to the U.S. Air Force, customers include the New Jersey and Maryland State Police Departments, Los Angeles Fire Department, and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, to name a few. Over 1,000 total AW139s have been delivered globally including over 700 manufactured in Vergiate, Italy.
“When our AW139 assembly line opened in 2008, it marked the beginning of a wonderful period of growth,” said William Hunt, MD of Leonardo Helicopters Philadelphia. “We are delighted to feel that current of expansion again, with a new training academy opening this year and welcoming new customers within the U.S. Department of Defense that will keep us busy for years to come. A foundationally transformative success for Leonardo, I’m proud to celebrate the hard work of my colleagues who build, maintain, and sell AW139s. Their dedication and professionalism has made the helicopter the world famous model that it is today.”
The AW139 has proven extremely successful in the global commercial market. With its dual-use design for the type has also been selected by many military operators worldwide. Always adapting, the AW139 increased its max take-off from 6.4 to 7 tons and able is to fly in all weather conditions with advanced protection against icing. It is the only model capable of 60 minutes of flight without oil in the transmission, double the time set by certification authorities.
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