Leonardo has announced that its new single-engine AW09 helicopter will be powered by Safran’s Arriel 2K engine. Leonardo noted that the Arriel 2K has already been installed on its latest prototype and flight testing is expected to begin shortly. Previous AW09 prototypes were flown using Honeywell’s HTS900 powerplant.
“We are proud that Leonardo has placed its trust once again in Safran Helicopter Engines to power its latest light helicopter,” said Safran Helicopter Engines CEO Franck Saudo. “The Arriel 2K engine is the latest version of the well-known Arriel engine family and will clearly bring high level of capability, reliability and ease of operations to the AW09.”
Formerly called the SH09, the clean-sheet AW09 is being developed by Switzerland-based Kopter, which was acquired by Leonardo in 2020. The single-engine AW09 is expected to offer a cruise speed of 140 knots and 430-NM range, along with being capable of carrying external loads of up to 3,300 pounds. It will seat a pilot and eight passengers and come equipped with the Garmin G3000H integrated flight deck.
This helicopter first flew more than eight years ago. Like the Beech Denali, I guess we’ll see it when we see it.