China’s Xiangjiang General Aviation Development Company has signed a contract for one AW139 medium twin-engine helicopter and one AW109 Trekker light twin helicopter. The helicopters will be utilised by various municipal branches in the Hunan province, performing public HEMS, fire-fighting and public security missions. The project represents a brand new public sponsored approach in the establishment of a nationwide HEMS and aerial fire-fighting network in China.
Hunan, with a population of 66 million and a GDP of US$ 700 billion, is the first province in China to reform its low altitude airspace and pioneer a public HEMS service through the establishment of Xiangjiang GA. With the fleet combination of the AW139 intermediate and AW109 Trekker light twin both to be delivered within 2023, Xiangjiang GA will be able to perform a wide range of public services missions, with a future fleet and capability growth in mind.
This order confirms Leonardo as the global leading player in the medium and light twin category and strengthens the company’s position in the Asia-Pacific region. The new AW139 and AW109Trekker will continue to expand the number of Leonardo helicopters in China. Leonardo has already delivered more than 40 AW139 and 13 AW109 Trekker helicopters to serve various Chinese operators, confirming itself as the leader in the OGP, EMS, VIP and law enforcement market in China.
The AW139 has logged orders over 1,250 units from more than 290 operators in over 80 countries to date for all missions. Therefore, this confirms the AW139 as the world’s most important helicopter programme since its certification in 2004 and the bestselling type in its category. With the latest product enhancement on the AW109Trekker Avionics system, the 4-axis auto-pilot will be applied on Xiangjiang GA AW109Trekker to further increase product safety and manoeuvrability.
More than 200 Leonardo civil helicopters of various types have been sold to Chinese operators to date for a range of both commercial and public services.