Leonardo Helicopters looks to tech of the future

Leonardo Helicopters looks to tech of the future

Leonardo and the Politecnico di Milano (PoliMi) are developing new technologies for helicopters as part of their expanding collaboration

Leonardo and the Politecnico di Milano (PoliMi) are developing new technologies for helicopters as part of their expanding collaboration, launched in 2016 with the signing of Innovation Hub, a multi-year framework agreement. The agreement, in addition to developing innovative solutions related to helicopters, covers other areas of research that pertain to the business of Leonardo. The partnership between the company and the Milan based university reaffirms the importance of collaboration between large companies and universities of excellence as a determining factor in economic and cultural development and growth.

&quotThe Politecnico di Milano is collaborating in a structured way with major industrial companies to make its research environment more and more relevant to the needs of businesses,” said Ferruccio Resta, Rector of the University. “The Innovation Hub created with Leonardo is producing concrete results and significant ones that confirm our commitment and identify, once again, as an engine of innovation in the nation.”

“In Leonardo, we invest in continuous and increasingly collaborative innovation,” underlined Alessandro Profumo, Leonardo's CEO, “to develop increasingly effective and sustainable solutions for our customers and for Italy. The multi-year collaboration with the Politecnico of Milan is a concrete example of this. By putting our wealth of skills in line with those of the academic world – adds Profumo – we can accelerate the processes of innovation and technological development, create synergy and mutual benefit to support the competitiveness of Italy.”

Through project Comfort, Leonardo and the PoliMi are also developing technologies to reduce the vibration and noise of helicopters. The reference platform for the study is the AW139 helicopter. The research activities are concentrated on three main areas: the rotor, from which the vibrations originate; the main gear box attachments, through which rotor vibrations are transmitted into the helicopter structure thereby reducing the level of comfort, and finally on the airframe itself. The ultimate goal of the programme is to demonstrate a significant vibration and internal noise reduction, through the coordinated use of passive and active systems. The development of solutions suitable for achieving the objective includes simulation activities and experimental research validation.