AgustaWestland's autorotation trials for the AW609 TiltRotor program have been completed successfully. Between the end of March and early April 10 dedicated flight hours saw more than 70 power-off conversions from airplane mode to helicopter mode flown from the Arlington (Texas) facility in the USA. The tests were flown under auspices of FAA and covered the full wind-milling and autorotation envelopes, marking another major achievement for the program development.
The handling qualities of the aircraft were very benign throughout the testing and the performance of the aircraft exceeded expected characteristics seen during preparation in the engineering simulator in Arlington Texas. Together, the test pilots and engineers were able to develop the best flight maneuvers that will ultimately allow training of commercial pilots in the planned full flight simulator. This latest goal provides further evidence of the AW609’s quality in terms of design, performance and safety in the most demanding conditions.
This accomplishment follows the completion of the AW609 flight envelope expansion trials in December 2013. The concurrent industrialization phase of the AW609 is also taking shape across the AgustaWestland network and associated supply chain, with new equipment and tooling being acquired to guarantee existing orders can start to be fulfilled immediately after FAA type certification.
Related: Commercial News