Civil Helicopters News

Leonardo’s Safran-powered AW09 Completes Maiden Flight

Leonardo’s Safran-powered AW09 Completes Maiden Flight

Leonardo’s latest AW09 prototype, designated PS4, completed its maiden flight in Mollis, Switzerland on March 16. The helicopter is powered by Safran’s Arriel 2K engine.

The 20-minute flight “completed all set objectives” including hovers at low altitude, spot turns, straight and sideways flights at speeds up to 20 knots as well as several landings and take-offs.

“The crew was very pleased with the behavior of the aircraft and looks forward to the opening of the flight envelope during the upcoming tests,” Leonardo Helicopters announced on social media.

Earlier this year, Leonardo replaced the AW09’s Honeywell HTS900 turboshaft with the 1,000-shp Safran Helicopter Engines Arriel 2K, which will delay its certification.

Leonardo received new orders for nearly 40 aircraft of various models from several operators across the Middle East, Asia, the Americas and Europe during the Heli-Expo 2023 in Atlanta. The aircraft will be delivered between 2023 and 2026.

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