Leonardo Helicopters AW169 has received validation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), with deliveries to US customers slated to begin later this year.
This approval follows European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification of the new medium twin helicopter by seven months, the company announced Tuesday.
To date, more than 20 AW169s have been delivered to customers around the world for applications that include emergency medical service, executive/private transport, utility, offshore transport and wind farm support.
The 10,140-pound/4.6-metric-ton helicopter features a pair of 1,000-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210Aengines and Rockwell Collins glass-panel touchscreen avionics with four-axis digital automatic flight control system and dual flight management systems.
AW169s are also equipped with a variable-speed main rotor, which improves efficiency and reduces external noise, and the helicopter is the first in its category entering the market with electrically actuated retractable landing gear.
Top cruising speed is 155 knots and maximum range is 431 nm. The 222-cu-ft cabin can accommodate seven to 10 passengers.
All AW169s are being delivered from Leonardo’s plant in Vergiate, Italy.
A planned second AW169 assembly line at the company's Philadelphia facility, which was slated to open late last year, is indefinitely on hold, a spokeswoman said.
The company has signed agreements, orders and options, for more than 150 of the medium twins.