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Leonardo TH-119 wins US Navy Trainer Helo competition

Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:55 pm
by JayinKitsap
Leonardo was going after hard for both this trainer copter program and the
$2.38 billion ballistic missile security helicopter contract with the US Air Force to deliver 84 MH-139As, aircraft based on Leonardo’s medium, twin-engined civil helicopter AW139
that was awarded in Sept 2018.

Well, they won the contract for 120 trainer copters, not bad, not bad at all.

https://www.flightglobal.com/helicopter ... 23.article

The service plans to replace its aging fleet of Bell TH-57B/C Sea Rangers with 130 examples of the TH-119. The USN announced the winner of the Advanced Helicopter Training System TH-73A contest on 13 January.


It was a surprise when they landed the MH-139A, I can't seem to find which craft was expected to win this. It does seem that Leonardo stock models are closer than the competition to the RFP requirements compared to others.

The AW119 has an empty weight: 1,483 kg (3,269 lb), Max takeoff weight: 2,850 kg (6,283 lb), max sling load 3,086 lb 747 kW (1,002 hp) Cruise speed: 244 km/h (152 mph, 132 kn) in commercial service it is reported to have a per hour op cost of around $800, quite economical.

The competition:
Bell 407GXi Empty weight: 2,668 lb (1,210 kg), MTOW 6,000 lb Useful load: 2,347 lb (internal) 813 shp (606 kW), cruise speed 133 knots (152 mp/h, 246 km/h)

H135 Empty weight: 1,455 kg (3,208 lb) Max takeoff weight: 2,910 kg (6,415 lb), 1,455 kg (3,208 lb) payload, 2x 463 kW (621 hp) cruise speed 254 km/h (158 mph, 137 kn)

Re: Leonardo TH-119 wins US Navy Trainer Helo competition

Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:14 pm
by Dutchy
Leonardo is on a winning streak.

Re: Leonardo TH-119 wins US Navy Trainer Helo competition

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:56 pm
by texl1649
Bell is really struggling lately, particularly on government contracts. The Ranger series seems quite elderly at this point.

Re: Leonardo TH-119 wins US Navy Trainer Helo competition

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:32 pm
by ThePointblank
texl1649 wrote:
Bell is really struggling lately, particularly on government contracts. The Ranger series seems quite elderly at this point.

Probably one of the big knocks against it is that it isn't built in the US; the Bell 407 series is built in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada, while the Leonardo helicopter is assembled in the US.

But one of the biggest requirements from what I've read was the helicopter must be IFR-certified, a fairly tall order for a single engined helicopter; the Leonardo AW119 was the first single engined helicopter to be FAA IFR-certified. The Bell 407GXi was the second helicopter to be IFR certified, while the Airbus H135 was already IFR certified, but was a twin-engined helicopter.

Leonardo made a number of design choices that made the certification process a lot easier, as the AW119 was derived from the AW109, from having dual hydraulics, dual stability augmentation systems, and dual pitot-static systems, among others. It even has a dual generation option; the AW119 has an optional auxiliary generator already integrated with the aircraft from the onset, and for IFR certification, Leonardo installed the auxiliary generator, which will automatically pick up the entire electrical load of the aircraft if the primary generator fails.

Coupled to a new 4-panel glass cockpit (the FAA only requires 2), it seems Leonardo lucked out on a lot of their design choices that made it a preferred option for the Navy's requirements.

Re: Leonardo TH-119 wins US Navy Trainer Helo competition

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:02 pm
by aumaverick
JayinKitsap wrote:
Leonardo was going after hard for both this trainer copter program and the
$2.38 billion ballistic missile security helicopter contract with the US Air Force to deliver 84 MH-139As, aircraft based on Leonardo’s medium, twin-engined civil helicopter AW139
that was awarded in Sept 2018.

Well, they won the contract for 120 trainer copters, not bad, not bad at all.

https://www.flightglobal.com/helicopter ... 23.article

The service plans to replace its aging fleet of Bell TH-57B/C Sea Rangers with 130 examples of the TH-119. The USN announced the winner of the Advanced Helicopter Training System TH-73A contest on 13 January.


It was a surprise when they landed the MH-139A, I can't seem to find which craft was expected to win this. It does seem that Leonardo stock models are closer than the competition to the RFP requirements compared to others.

The AW119 has an empty weight: 1,483 kg (3,269 lb), Max takeoff weight: 2,850 kg (6,283 lb), max sling load 3,086 lb 747 kW (1,002 hp) Cruise speed: 244 km/h (152 mph, 132 kn) in commercial service it is reported to have a per hour op cost of around $800, quite economical.

The competition:
Bell 407GXi Empty weight: 2,668 lb (1,210 kg), MTOW 6,000 lb Useful load: 2,347 lb (internal) 813 shp (606 kW), cruise speed 133 knots (152 mp/h, 246 km/h)

H135 Empty weight: 1,455 kg (3,208 lb) Max takeoff weight: 2,910 kg (6,415 lb), 1,455 kg (3,208 lb) payload, 2x 463 kW (621 hp) cruise speed 254 km/h (158 mph, 137 kn)



So we're going from the Bell TH-57 Sea Ranger to a Leonardo/AW TH-73A Sea Koala?

Re: Leonardo TH-119 wins US Navy Trainer Helo competition

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:36 pm
by rlwynn
No.

Re: Leonardo TH-119 wins US Navy Trainer Helo competition

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:15 am
by petertenthije
aumaverick wrote:
So we're going from the Bell TH-57 Sea Ranger to a Leonardo/AW TH-73A Sea Koala?

Maybe call it the drop bear instead?

Re: Leonardo TH-119 wins US Navy Trainer Helo competition

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:57 pm
by VSMUT
ThePointblank wrote:
But one of the biggest requirements from what I've read was the helicopter must be IFR-certified, a fairly tall order for a single engined helicopter;


Why tho? I can rent a fully IFR-certified PA-28 or C172 from the 1960s at the local flying club. Why would a helicopter be harder to do?

Re: Leonardo TH-119 wins US Navy Trainer Helo competition

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:08 pm
by ThePointblank
VSMUT wrote:
ThePointblank wrote:
But one of the biggest requirements from what I've read was the helicopter must be IFR-certified, a fairly tall order for a single engined helicopter;


Why tho? I can rent a fully IFR-certified PA-28 or C172 from the 1960s at the local flying club. Why would a helicopter be harder to do?


Since 1999, FAA certification of single-engine helicopters in the U.S. has been stymied by FAA guidance that requires applicants to demonstrate regulatory compliance using numerical safety analysis methods. The FAA set an extremely high bar when it selected the methodology and numeric values in this guidance.

Most single-engine helicopters are certified as FARs Part 27 normal category rotorcraft, which have generally lower safety standards than Part 29 transport category rotorcraft.

For IFR certification, however, the numerical safety analysis requirements were equivalent — generally necessitating the type of redundant systems that are common on transport category helicopters, but rare on normal category ones.

In 2015, the FAA released this policy statement which affected certification of Part 27 rotorcraft, easing some of the requirements slightly, but did not address single-engine IFR requirements directly:

http://www.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory_an ... -27-15.pdf

From the standpoint of Leonardo, when they chose to pursue IFR certification of the AW119 for the USN contract, the most straightforward path for doing so was still to conform with the redundant systems approach found on Part 29 transport-category helicopters. It also wasn't lost on the FAA that when they certified the AW119 for IFR flight, they were also doing this for the first time, so this certification attracted a lot more scrutiny than usual.