This step synergizes the two identities of Leonardo and Kopter. The AW09 complements the existing product range of Leonardo, allowing the company to increase its share in the strategic single-engine market.
Gian Piero Cutillo, Leonardo Helicopters MD, said: “As we make the Kopter team part of our family through the ongoing integration, we now have the latest addition to our product range fully identified with Leonardo, while preserving its invaluable distinguished features. With the AW09, we’re more than ever fully committed to pursuing a revolution in the single-engine market and setting an all-new standard.”
Kopter to become Centre of Competence for light helicopters
The AW09 will continue to be developed by Kopter in Switzerland, and the program looks set to progress further with the contribution of joint Leonardo-Kopter teams. The third prototype has now logged 40 flight hours in Switzerland since mid-January in its new configuration. This includes enhancements in the main rotor head, gearbox, an extended rotor mast and a new design of the flight controls, combined with the Garmin G3000H cockpit. The AW09 next prototype, PS4, is expected to fly this year, followed by the PS5.
Kopter is set to become a Centre of Competence for new light helicopters and an incubator of new technologies for vertical flight. As such, it will contribute to the development of new hybrid and electrical propulsion systems and will play an important role in the framework of Leonardo’s Be Tomorrow 2030 strategic plan, which aims to be in the leading position in the civil rotorcraft market and modern air mobility.