Tilting at success
AW 609 Tiltrotor is still on target for 2018 FAA certification says Leonardo, after more prototype ground and flight-tests
The AW609 Tiltrotor is expected to start icing trials soon following recent ground and flight-testing. FAA certification remains on track for 2018, manufacturer Leonardo says. The third prototype, based at the company’s Philadelphia facility, completed several weeks of unrestrained ground testing and, more recently, flight trials that allowed avionics and all systems to be fully evaluated.
During initial flights the AW609 performed basic hovering and manoeuvring and flew patterns around the airport, concluding with a hover landing. Additional flights up to 4,000ft, and short takeoffs and landings are planned soon. The Tiltrotor will undergo icing trials in Marquette, Michigan.
The fourth prototype is now on the Philadelphia final assembly line to ensure a smooth transition to the first production-build aircraft, which is is scheduled to be rolled out in 2018.