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Leonardo would have been proud.

I’ve always marveled at Leonardo da Vinci’s inventions: the anemometer, giant crossbow, cannon, aqualung, ornithopter, parachute, and the helical air screw, just to name a few. Being in aviation though, the ornithopter (flying machine) and helical air screw (early helicopter) are my favorites. Of course, if you design an airplane and a helicopter I guess inventing the parachute was the natural next step.

With my great admiration for the works of da Vinci, you can understand my excitement regarding Italian manufacturer Leonardo (no relation) Helicopters’ AgustaWestland’s selection of the Genesys Aerosystems Integrated Display Units (IDUs) for their two newest models: the AW109 Trekker and the AW009.

The AW109 Trekker celebrated its first flight just this past March, and by all reports that flight went off without the smallest glitch. The all-new Trekker is a light, twin-turbine model that is designed for EMS, utility, SAR, surveillance, and passenger transport applications.

The single-turbine, AW009 is already in service in Europe, Asia and the U.S., in a variety of roles including airborne law enforcement, utility and advanced flight training applications.

To ensure maximum situational awareness and the lowest possible pilot workload, both of these helicopters feature Genesys Aerosystems’ 6” x 8” IDU EFIS display. The AW109 having a pair of 6” x 8” PFD and MFD IDUs and the AW009 has a single 6” x 8” IDU. All of the displays are equipped with Genesys’ 3D synthetic vision, Highway-In-The-Sky (HITS) navigation, and integrated Helicopter Terrain Awareness and Warning System (H-TAWS), including known obstacle alerting.

While I believe Leonardo da Vinci was a true visionary well beyond his century, even someone with his foresight could not have dreamed of the wonderful things that his “helical air screws” would evolve to do and the incredible safety enhancing capabilities that are available with Genesys EFIS displays.

I have to think da Vinci would be proud…and amazed.


Until next time, fly safely,