Leonardo-Finmeccanica announced on August 23, 2016, that the first flying AW609 prototype has arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, following the recent resumption of flight testing. Departing from Arlington, Texas, the transfer flight included an overnight stop in Huntsville, Alabama, before arriving in Philadelphia on Wednesday, August 10.
With pre-production activity underway, Leonardo-Finmeccanica has expanded the AW609 tilt-rotor program to include the company’s Philadelphia facility. The use of this site in the AW609 program represents the anticipated progression toward assembly and certification in the USA with the FAA as the certification authority. Facilities in Italy, the UK and Poland also have critical production roles. This prototype, now in Philadelphia, will soon be relocated to Italy.
An Italian-assembled and ground tested AW609, shipped over from Europe to Philadelphia, will begin flight testing activities on arrival.
A Philadelphia-assembled AW609 will join the test fleet in 2017. Certification of the first commercial tilt-rotor is expected in 2018, with customer deliveries to follow.
August 26, 2016