14-Jul-2022 Source: Leonardo
Built near the Jurassic Coast in Yeovil, UK, Leonardo’s AW101 helicopter regularly flies its global operators in challenging conditions from hot and high to ice cold. This flexibility makes the AW101 the most advanced, versatile and capable multi-role helicopter available today. However, transporting dinosaurs is a new mission set that even its designers at Leonardo had not anticipated.
In its All-Weather Search and Rescue (AWSAR) configuration, seen in Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment’s Jurassic World Dominion (in theatres now), the AW101 helicopter can more regularly be found flying under the northern lights of Norway than the bright lights of Hollywood. That is because in real life, the technologically advanced helicopter on-screen belongs to the Royal Norwegian Air Force’s 330 squadron, which operates the platform. The helicopter has a wide-range of technologies supporting safer SAR missions, including all-weather ice protection, comprehensive automatic flight controls, integrated multi-sensor and cockpit display systems.
The AW101’s avionics and mission suite includes a fully integrated glass cockpit, four-axis Digital Avionics System and a Health and Usage Monitoring System amongst other capabilities, which provide the crew with heightened situational awareness, mission effectiveness, and the ability to make rapid tactical assessments day or night. All vital capabilities when needed for spotting ‘predators’ and keeping a watchful eye over the land below for survivors.
Dinosaurs in Leonardo’s story date back to the mid-1920s at the “Home of British of Helicopters” in Yeovil, then known as Westland, with the 34hp aptly-named Pterodactyl I monoplane, which took to the skies for the first time in late 1925. This aircraft then evolved into the two-seat Pterodactyl V fighter prototype in the mid-1930s.