Third prototype AW609 TiltRotor performs ground run

Leonardo-Finmeccanica has announced that the third prototype of the AgustaWestland AW609 TiltRotor has completed its first ground run at the company’s facilities in Cascina Costa, Italy.

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Aircraft AW609 A/C3 began restrained ground run testing with all engines and systems operating. These tests prepare the prototype for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification flight testing this summer at the company’s Philadelphia facility, where it will demonstrate that its capabilities satisfy a stringent set of airworthiness standards for the world’s first commercial powered lift aircraft.

Testing plans for the A/C3 also include icing trials in the winter of 2016 to demonstrate its capabilities in known icing conditions.

The ground run of the third prototype followed a restarting of test activities of the first prototype (A/C1) on April 15, 2016. The fourth prototype A/C4 is undergoing assembly in Philadelphia with plans to enter the test fleet in 2017. Certification of the first commercial tiltrotor is expected in 2018, with deliveries to customers to follow.

Terry Spruce

Terry is Senior News Editor and writes for both Corporate Jet Investor and Helicopter Investor. He is also responsible for our helicopter guides. Terry has been an aviation enthusiast since the early 1970s. He is a lapsed Private Pilot and ex-Piper Cherokee owner. He has flown a number of light aircraft and is comfortable sitting in the co-pilot's seat or the back of any aircraft. Before moving to journalism he was a banker for 20 years. You can contact him at: terry@corporatejetinvestor.com or follow him on twitter @Terry_Spruce

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