FOUR engineers stationed at Yeovil have just returned from Brindisi, Italy, having received specialist training in “cutting edge” engineering techniques.
The trip gave Leonardo engineers Alex Weymouth, Joseph Eveleigh, Matt Walters and Stuart Redman hands-on insight into the construction of the AW149 military helicopters.
These helicopters are currently manufactured in the Italian town of Vergiate, but could now also be manufactured in Yeovil if chosen by the British Armed Forces.
Alex Weymouth, a former mechanical fitter apprentice, said: “I was watching and learning new techniques on how to build the plane. As a modern, mostly composite aircraft, the skills and techniques differ slightly…I’m excited to possibly work more on the AW149 in the future and hopefully at the Yeovil site.
Another travel engineer, Stuart Redman, has worked at the Yeovil site for almost 25 years.
He said: “The plane could bring work to the business for years to come.
“It would mean a good progression for me to work on a different platform.”
The Italian aircraft is being pushed by Leonardo Engineering to the UK Ministry of Defence’s ‘New Medium Helicopter’ (NMH) requirement.
If successful, the AW149 helicopters will have an assembly line at Leonardo’s Yeovil site.
The campaign will enable continued support and growth for the UK helicopter industry, which is “essential to the UK’s future participation in next generation platforms”.
Written by Jamie Grover, Twitter: @jamiegrover9