"Heli-Expo". Leonardo aims at Japan for AW-609 tilt-rotor (airplane-helicopter)
The industry starts with NAS a working group to evaluate the use for transport and public utility
Leonardo and Nakanihon Air Service, Co., Ltd. of Japan (Nakanihon Air Service, NAS) signed at "Heli-Expo" (see AVIONEWS) a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a joint working group that will study requirements for introducing the AW-609 commercial multirole tiltrotor (airplane-helicopter) into service in Japan. The industry already supplies a range of advanced rotorcraft technology to the benefit of Japanese civil and government users.
The AW-609 represents the next generation of aircraft transport under the all-new, rigorous power lift civil certification category being set by FAA, and is now entering the mass production phase at Leonardo Philadelphia facility. In line with market interest, the AW-609 first Full Motion simulator will be available in 2020 (see AVIONEWS).
The tilt-rotor reaches people in hard-to-access areas including densely populated city-centers; high mountains, coastlines, and far-flung islands; and low population regions where the nearest hospital is many miles away—all with performance and all-weather capabilities.
Thanks to turboprop-like speed, a 25,000 ft altitude and 2000 km maximum range, users will benefit from flying capabilities above adverse weather and a pressurized cabin for maximized comfort and patient medical treatment, while maintaining rotorcraft vertical take-off and landing/hovering versatility.
During the next 12 months, the working group will leverage the NAS experience as one of the largest fixed and rotary wing operators in Japan and a Leonardo Authorized Service Center for decades in delivering charter, goods transport, aerial photography and EMS/SAR services across the nation to identify opportunities for the world’s first multirole/commercial tiltrotor in Japan and offer the AW-609 for a range of roles such as transport and EMS/SAR. Their combined fixed/rotary wing operational and service expertise makes Nakanihon Air Service the ideal partner. There are over 130 helicopters in service in Japan performing law enforcement, emergency medical service, search and rescue, firefighting, disaster relief, VIP/corporate transport, electronic news gathering and naval utility.
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