Civil Helicopters News

Leonardo’s First Production Aircraft AW609 Makes Maiden Flight

Leonardo’s First Production Aircraft AW609 Makes Maiden Flight

The first Leonardo AW609 production aircraft (AC5) took to the air for the first time on October 13 at Leonardo’s Philadelphia-based site, under the world’s first multirole tiltrotor programme.

The flight, which tested the jet’s general handling and systems, was done while the aircraft awaits FAA certification under the Powered Lift category.

Alongside AC5, three other AW609 prototypes, one based in the US and two in Italy, are currently supporting test activities.

“This amazing achievement adds to several milestones for the AW609 programme over the last year, through its technical progress and during its public appearances. Together this testifies the level of maturity this groundbreaking programme has reached and our credentials to pioneer in the emerging fast rotorcraft domain,” said Gian Piero Cutillo, Managing Director, Leonardo Helicopters.

The AW609 programme has logged 1,900 flight hours in the US and in Italy. The twin-engined tiltrotor VTOL aircraft has a wider range and higher speed than conventional rotorcraft.