Health Care District of Palm Beach County purchases 2 AW169 EMS helicopters

Leonardo Press Release | April 21, 2020

Estimated reading time 2 minutes, 44 seconds.

Leonardo has announced that the Health Care District of Palm Beach County, Florida — a Federal Aviation Administration certificated air carrier in southern Florida, also known as Trauma Hawk — has signed a contract to purchase two light-intermediate AW169 helicopters.

In addition to EMS operations, the AW169 will support Travis County's search-and-rescue, law enforcement support and fire suppression efforts in the area surrounding Austin, Texas. Leonardo Photo
Trauma Hawk’s custom medical configured cabin will meet the most recent U.S. helicopter air ambulance standards for safety and operability. Leonardo Photo

Palm Beach County is the largest county by area in Florida with more than 2,300 square miles. The District maintains a well-organized instrument flight rules (IFR) infrastructure combining special instrument approaches and transition routing, plus an extensive FAA-approved IFR pilot training program to provide service during inclement weather. The AW169 is also equipped with Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance (LPV) GPS, a precise navigational aid, to further enhance safe approaches and landings during low visibility.

The AW169 features a spacious 222-cubic-foot cabin — similar in size to models in the intermediate weight category — with flexible interior layouts providing 360-degree patient access essential for critical care. Capable of rapid patient transport, Trauma Hawk’s custom medical configured cabin will enable the highest quality of care and meet the most recent U.S. helicopter air ambulance standards for safety and operability.

The helicopters will be the first from Leonardo to feature a longitudinal roll-on stretcher system to minimize workload and patient movement during loading and unloading.

With more power and range than competing light-intermediate twin helicopters, the AW169 can travel up to 440 nautical miles, top speed at 160 knots and climb to 14,500 feet. Latest generation avionics includes a four-axis, dual-duplex digital automatic flight control system and a full night vision goggle (NVG) compatible digital glass cockpit with three eight-inch by 10-inch displays. Auxiliary power unit (APU) mode allows the AW169 cabin to stay “power on” with rotor blades stopped creating a safe, quiet and comfortable environment for care and setting a new standard for helicopter EMS operations.

With orders for over 220 AW169s placed by customers worldwide for a range of missions, the type has already been chosen by rescue and parapublic operators in several nations including Italy, the U.K., Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, and the United States.

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