AW-609 tilt-rotor (airplane+helicopter): the first prototype lands at the Philadelphia facility
Rome, Italy - Leonardo-Finmeccanica confirms certification on track for 2018
Leonardo-Finmeccanica announced today that the first flying AW-609 tilt-rotor (airplane and helicopter) prototype has arrived in Philadelphia following a recent resumption of flight testing. Departing from Arlington, Texas, the aircraft’s flight plan included an overnight stop in Huntsville, Ala, before arriving in Philadelphia on Wednesday, August 10. With industrialization underway, Leonardo-Finmeccanica has expanded the TiltRotor program to include the company’s Philadelphia facility. The involvement of the Philadelphia site in the AW-609 program represents the anticipated progression towards assembly and certification with the FAA as the certification authority. Facilities in the Italy, UK and Poland continue to play critical production roles. While this flying prototype will soon be relocated to Italy, flight testing activities in Philadelphia will continue upon the arrival of a tilt-rotor recently assembled and ground tested in Italy. Another AW-609 is being assembled in Philadelphia with plans to enter the test fleet in 2017. Certification of the first commercial tiltrotor is expected in 2018, with deliveries to customers to follow. "The unique flight characteristics of the AW-609 combine the benefits of a helicopter and a fixed wing airplane into one aircraft. Flying above adverse weather conditions with up to nine people in comfort or a combination of stretchers and medical attendants in a pressurized cabin with turboprop-like speed and performance, the model represents the next generation of aircraft transport. With agreements for nearly 60 units from customers around the world, including the intention of the UAE Joint Aviation Command to take delivery of three aircraft, the AW-609 is capable of diverse missions, including patrol and search and rescue, off-shore transport, executive/private transport and homeland security roles. Development agreements are in place with Bristow Group and Era Group, for off-shore and EMS variants, respectively".
© World Aeronautical Press Agency Srl