Leonardo and EASA signed a memorandum of cooperation in the rotorcraft innovation sector

By Luca Peruzzi

Leonardo and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) have signed last June a non-exclusive Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) aimed at establishing a new collaboration in the rotorcraft innovation sector to include exchange of information, “with significant mutual benefits in the field of innovation”, the industrial group told  EDR On-Line, after the latter has requested information on new technology developments and connected certification processes. 

According to Leonardo Helicopter’s written statement, “the exchange of information between Leonardo and EASA will help to identify industrial and technology risks connected with specific innovations, and to adapt certification authority’s processes and organizations to support the innovative initiatives”. This collaboration scheme “introduces a new way in Europe to sustain innovative initiatives with full involvement of the two key players, the Manufacturer and the Certification Authority, each one for its part of responsibility and capabilities. This opportunity will allow a more informative, mutual understanding of the benefits of innovative initiatives supporting their safer, more efficient and swifter introduction”.

The areas of cooperation will include, among others, innovative initiatives in the Vertical Powered Lift sector including Tilt Rotors, urban air mobility technologies and certification rules, advanced propulsion systems and their integration, Rotary Wing UAS and flight autonomy technologies and certification rules, advanced navigation systems, high efficiency low pollution operations and rules, advanced training systems, and digital transformation solutions.

Under the MoC, “Leonardo Helicopters and EASA will cooperate in the identification at an early stage of the key risk areas of Company’s innovation projects and possible solutions to which EASA could contribute. At the same time, EASA will be involved in industry innovations in order to enable it to adapt its processes, organisation, staff competence plans, rules and procedures to support innovation”, explained Leonardo. The MoC will be governed through an Innovation Committee which will be responsible for the relevant effective implementation.

 “In recent years the group has been studying, developing, testing and introducing a number of innovative solutions, including breakthrough technologies and concepts in the vertical lift sector including commercial tiltrotors like the AW609, rotorcraft unmanned systems like the SW-4 Solo and AWHERO, advanced propulsion and dynamics for more efficient flight, like all electric tail rotor and active main rotor blades, advanced navigation, training capabilities and growing levels of digitalization for products and services”, Leonardo Helicopters added.      

Photo courtesy Leonardo