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Agusta completes 609 tiltrotor programme acquisition


An Augusta Westland photo

MILAN (BNS): The development of the AW609 tiltrotor programme is now moving forward under full AgustaWestland control, the company said.

The company has finalised with Bell Helicopter Textron transaction for the acquisition of the 609 tiltrotor programme. All legal and regulatory approvals have now been completed and civil certification is expected in late 2015, early 2016. Deliveries will follow immediately afterwards, it said.

AgustaWestland also plans to introduce a new generation satellite based navigation system and mission avionics to enable all weather operations and increase the aircraft's operational capabilities.

The first two prototypes have achieved more than 600 flight hours so far and have validated the AW609's unique flight envelope including the ability to fly at altitudes of up to 25,000 feet and cruise at speeds up to 275 knots, all at the aircraft's maximum weight.

Two further aircraft will join the test programme to complete the certification programme. The third prototype, now being manufactured in Italy, will be devoted to icing certification testing while the fourth prototype will be used for the development and integration of new avionics and mission avionics.

AgustaWestland is investing in the next generation of rotorcraft technologies and the AW609 and future tiltrotor concepts are part of the company's innovation commitment.

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