AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, has completed AW609 tiltrotor flight envelope expansion trials in December 2013, allowing the certification testing phase to commence as it makes progress toward FAA certification in 2017.
This was achieved with the first two test aircraft, which have now together flown almost 1,000 hours, with over a third in the last two years since the FAA type certification program was transferred to AgustaWestland Tilt-Rotor Company. The test activities were completed with extensive collaboration between the program’s main site in Arlington, Texas and support from the AgustaWestland Cascina Costa facility in Italy. With further investment and commitment by AgustaWestland the flying rate will increase again in 2014.
AW609. Photo courtesy of AgustaWestland
Other trials completed with the AW609 in 2013 included slope landings, run-on landings, aeroelastic stability testing and high altitude stability testing.
The third prototype, now being assembled at AgustaWestland’s Vergiate facility, will join the flight test program in 2014 in support of this certification flight testing. A fourth prototype will join the certification program at a later date to allow the new avionics suite to be flight tested, and enable type certification to be achieved as planned in 2017.
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