The fourth AW609 tiltrotor, fully representative of the final production configuration, successfully performed its first flight at Leonardo’s Philadelphia plant on 23 December, entering the final program development and ground / flight testing stages.
Lifting off on a clear afternoon, test pilot Dan Wells said, “The aircraft performed beautifully, thanks to all the rig and ground testing and the work done by our amazing engineering and production teams. The new touch-screen cockpit layout really proved its value and the aircraft exceeded all of our expectations.”
With this flight the world’s first multirole commercial tiltrotor achieved a major milestone on its path to FAA certification. The AW609 will be certified under the FAA’s new Powered Lift category, the first new category of aircraft certified by the FAA in decades. Combining the vertical take-off and landing performance of a helicopter with the speed, range, and comfort of a turboprop airplane, the AW609 is poised to transform private and downtown to downtown transport, emergency medical service (EMS), search and rescue (SAR), offshore operations and patrol, among other uses. The AW609 carries up to nine passengers in a comfortable pressurized cabin, has a max cruise speed of 275 knots and can travel up to 700 nautical miles—about twice as fast and twice as far as the typical helicopter. It climbs to 25,000 feet, flying safely above inclement weather and in known icing conditions. The AW609 features fly-by-wire flight controls, Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion avionics and two Pratt & Whitney PT6C-67A engines.
The first two production AW609s are currently being assembled in Philadelphia. Era, one of the largest helicopter operators in the world and the longest serving helicopter transport provider in the United States, will be the first customer to receive the revolutionary aircraft. The AW609 has great interest from around the world, across all missions including EMS, SAR, VIP/Corporate transport and offshore resource development. Customers will be provided with comprehensive support and training packages primarily headquartered at the Company’s new Training Academy in Philadelphia. An advanced Flight Training Device and the world’s first AW609 Full Flight Simulator will be available for training in 2020.
- Ultimate Heli Renewal of ISO 9001:2015 Certification
- Leonardo delivers its first basic training AW169 to the Italian Army
- Airbus forms Team Nightjar for Australian special ops bid
- Boston MedFlight Reaches 80,000 Patient Transport Milestone
- US approves sale of one Sikorsky UH-60M to Jordan
- Northrop Grumman Supports Government Flight Testing of the MQ-8C Fire Scout Radar
- TUM developing AR solution for ship landings in rough seas
- DRF take stock of the corona pandemic in Germany
- DSCA approves sale of 6 UH-60M to Lithuania
- AirLink lands at Klamath County Fire District
- Accel-KKR and ParkerGale join forces to back ATP in its acquisition of FlightDocs
- New helipad opens at Royal Devon and Exeter hospital
- DRF tests droplet spread inside helicopters
- HeliTSA launches Rolls-Royce M250/RR300 engine training
- UK AAIB Bulletin – July 2020
- 14th Annual Electric Aircraft Symposium Goes Virtual
- New South Wales Government supports eVTOL development with grant
- HeliOffshore Appoints Chief Executive Officer
- Patria consolidates its helicopter maintenance operations in Norway
- Russian Helicopters delivers two Mi-8MTV-1 to Yamal Airlines