Leonardo-Finmeccanica said the third prototype of the AgustaWestland AW609 tilt rotor has completed its first ground run at the company's facilities in Cascina Costa, Italy. The aircraft began restrained ground run testing with all engines and systems operating and expects FAA certification flight testing this summer at its facility in Philadelphia. The AW609 is capable of flying within an envelope that includes cruise conditions up to 275 kt at an altitude of 25,000 ft in a pressurized cabin for missions with ranges up to 1,000 nm with available fuel options. Testing plans include ice trials at the end of this year. A fourth prototype is expected to enter the test fleet next year, with certification expected in 2018.
Photo courtesy of Leonardo-Finmeccanica