Waypoint Leasing and Italian airframer Leonardo Helicopters today launched a new partnership at Heli-Expo 2018 involving the Waypoint medium utility helicopter (MUH), which is making its debut here at the show. On display this week at Leonardo’s Heli-Expo booth (C3225) is the program prototype, a reconfiguration of one of Waypoint’s older, off-lease AW139 offshore transport helicopters. The work, performed by Eagle Copters over several months in Calgary, Canada, involved stripping out the medium-twin helicopter, removing superfluous equipment, and lightening it.
Under the program, early vintage, “short nose” offshore and VIP transport versions can be converted to serve a wide range of utility mission areas, including firefighting, light EMS/SAR, mining, powerline support, cargo and utility transport, and general aerial work. To support it, Leonardo has rolled out a program specific to the MUH.
“We are pleased to work together with Leonardo Helicopters and take advantage of the full AW130 lifecycle, which will greatly benefit utility operators,” said Allen Rowe, the leasing provider’s managing director of sales and relationship management. “Waypoint’s MUH offers modern technology, the latest safety systems, and the superior performance of the AW139 at comparable costs to competing legacy utility aircraft. This program leverages the success of the existing AW139 platform with the opportunity to serve the global utility market segment.”
The AW139 has achieved more than two million flight hours and has proven itself capable of supporting a wide range of missions, according to Leonardo senior vice president of global sales Emilio Dalmasso. “Waypoint’s MUH program is an important example of how companies are thoughtfully expanding the lifecycle value of the AW139, while positioning it to meet the modern demands of utility operations.”
He added that the cost-competitive program will include entry into service, as well as comprehensive training and dedicated power-by-the hour support plans. After the show, Waypoint and Leonardo plan to take the MUH on a demonstration tour.