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AW609 tiltro­tor re­sumes flight test­ing, while the AW139 gets ‘hot-and-high’

The first fly­ing AW609 tiltro­tor pro­to­type, AC1, was fer­ried from Ar­ling­ton, Texas to man­u­fac­turer Leonardo-fin­mec­ca­nica’s Philadel­phia fa­cil­ity in early Au­gust.

The move fol­lowed re­cent re­sump­tion of flight-test­ing af­ter the Novem­ber 2015 fatal crash of the sec­ond air­craft in Italy. AC1 will later be shipped to Italy for up­dates and mod­i­fi­ca­tions, while AC3 — which re­cently re­turned to flight test­ing in Italy — will cross the At­lantic in the op­po­site di­rec­tion to join the flight-test pro­gramme in Philadel­phia, where AC4 is cur­rently be­ing as­sem­bled and is sched­uled to fly next year.

De­spite the ten month de­lay in the flight-test pro­gramme fol­low­ing the ac­ci­dent, and calls from Ital­ian ac­ci­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tors for wind tun­nel retest­ing and re­design of the AW609’S fly-by-wire flight con­trol sys­tem, Leonardo-fin­mec­ca­nica says the AW609 re­mains on track for cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and first cus­tomer de­liv­er­ies in 2018.

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