AW169 in a bigger envelope
Leonardo-finmeccanica is expanding the flight envelope of the AW169. Flight tests, scheduled to take place in Leadville, Colorado, will determine single-engine Category A performance in hot-and-high conditions. The AW169 is certified to 15,000ft. “We’ve done testing at 20,000ft, but not Cat A,” says test pilot Chris Hyder. The hot-and-high trials will finish with an evaluation by pilots from EASA, which certified the AW169 in 2015. FAA certification is expected this year, and Us-assembled AW169S will start coming off the company’s Philadelphia production line in 2018.