Since the start of the Coronavirus emergency, Leonardo has been assisting Italy’s Guardia di Finanza (GdF) – as part of a long-term partnership with the Italian law enforcement agency – in the development of a version of the ATR42MP aircraft which allows for the safe transportation of sick patients affected by Covid-19.
This call to action was driven by the need to support Italy’s national health system by making vehicles available to transport individuals affected by the infection from overwhelmed areas to those where medical services are less in demand.
Despite the challenges of all engineering personnel having to work remotely, Leonardo immediately began working on the design which very quickly identified and developed a configuration that also took into account the indications received from the medical personnel working with the GdF.
The result was the issuing of an Interim Company Technical Prescription (PTDI), which, with the support and availability of the Directorate of Air Armaments and Airworthiness (DAAA), was transformed into an Interim Application Technical Prescription (PTAI) in record time.
The approved solution involved modifying the internal layout of the aircraft in order to accommodate two ISOARK N36-7-type biocontainment systems supplied by the Guardia di Finanza along with the supporting healthcare personnel. It also involved adjusting the aircraft’s electrical system to ensure the correct power supply to all the electromedical equipment essential to transporting Covid-19 patients.
As well as the design and certification phase, Leonardo was also charged with developing and supplying the electric modification kit (static inverters, wiring, wall fixing plates, etc.), while the re-configuration kits already available to the GdF were used for the changes to the internal layout. Making use of the existing kits enabled the adjustment to the ATR42MP – MSN 502 – Grifo 14 aircraft to be implemented in just three days, thanks to the hard work of both Leonardo and GdF personnel.
Once the adjustment had been completed, the aircraft underwent the scheduled ground and flight tests with healthcare professionals on board, who congratulated the GdF and Leonardo for the outstanding results achieved in such a short space of time, praising the outcome as a great example of successful collaboration within the Italian economic and industrial system.