Tilt­ing at suc­cess

Pilot - - PILOT NOTES -

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.

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