Leonardo Primes ICAO for Tiltrotor Ops

By James T. McKenna | June 26, 2017
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U.S. Navy MV-22 Osprey

MV-22 Osprey. File photo

Leonardo Helicopters has briefed members of an international aircraft operations group on changes that will need to be made to global aviation standards to cover air and ground movements of civil tiltrotors.

The recommendations covered a host of generic tiltrotor operational and regulatory issues, from integrating the high-speed aircraft into low-level helicopter routes to adding nacelle-angle parameters to flight data recorder rules, adjusting heliport firefighting requirements for the capacity and placement of tiltrotor fuel cells and the use of inlet barrier filters on such aircraft.


The OEM has been working for several years on recommendations for revisions of the standards and practices promulgated by the International Civil Aviation Org. (ICAO) for aircraft operations. Aviation regulators around the world use such ICAO guidelines to craft their national aircraft and airspace rules.

The briefing occurred at the May meeting of a working group of the ICAO operations committee. Its members included representatives of aviation regulators from Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and the U.S. as well as from the International Air Transport Assn.  

With endorsement by the working group, the recommendations would be presented for approval by the full ops committee at its scheduled meeting in December. If that committee approves, the technical English language of tiltrotor recommendations would then be translated into ICAO’s other official languages — Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish and Russian.

With the wordsmithing complete, the recommendations could be adopted by mid-2018. Leonardo has targeted that year for the AW609’s certification, with introduction to service soon thereafter.

"We are on schedule to obtain certification for the AW609 by the end of 2018. First orders will be delivered end of 2019," Leonardo Helicopters chief Daniele Romiti said at the Paris Air Show, according to the Reuters news service.

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