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VERSATILITY: THE KEY TO LEONARDO HELICOPTERS’ STRATEGY


When it comes to facing down the economic downturn, Leonardo Helicopters has chosen versatility as its strategic focus. In this case, the company is applying it in two key ways.


Leonardo’s first application of versatility refers to the mission- flexibility of its helicopter family, which can perform many types of missions. This versatility allows sales of Leonardo’s civilian rotorcraft to extend beyond the oil and gas industry to include the EMS, utility, and VIP markets.


Regarding versatility, Leonardo stated to


Rotorcraft Pro,


“Leonardo Helicopters has had initial success in the offshore wind energy sector, with customers selecting our aircraft, namely the AW169, to support customer requirements for offshore wind farms. Recently announced was a contract for the first AW169s to be delivered to a customer in Denmark, in support of an offshore wind farm contract in the U.K. These helicopters will feature a specially customized configuration, including a dedicated offshore interior and rescue hoist to support maintenance personnel working on the wind turbines.”


Leonardo Helicopters’ second strategic application of versatility refers to the company’s aggressive search for new clients.


60 Jan/Feb 2018


“Leonardo has worked to grow our market share, bringing aircraft to geographies previously underserved by helicopters, and expanding to entirely new market segments,” Leonardo Helicopters said.


China is one previously untapped region where Leonardo is gaining a substantial foothold. Not only is the company selling civilian helicopters there, but it “has contributed to the growth of the first national helicopter EMS program in China; having delivered 25 AW119Kx helicopters from its Philadelphia facility over the past year,” Leonardo Helicopters stated. “Additional deliveries of AW139s and AW169s, from a follow-on contract, are beginning as well.”


Looking ahead to 2018, Leonardo continues development work on the


AW609, which when civil-certified will become the first multi-role tiltrotor to enter into service. Meanwhile, “Through the Clean Sky 2 program, Leonardo Helicopters is also the leader on development of the Next Generation Civil Tiltrotor, a 20-seat civil


tiltrotor that will expand on the capabilities of the AW609 and integrate innovative and environmentally friendly technologies,” states the company. First flight of the demonstrator aircraft is expected in 2023.


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