AgustaWestland today announced it completed the AW609 TiltRotor envelop expansion phase with the first two test aircraft in December 2013. Together they have now flown almost 1,000 hours.
The program now enters a new phase of dedicated certification activity, to progress towards Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) type certification to be achieved as planned in 2017, according to an official statement.
AgustaWestland is also working with the International Civil Aviation Organization(ICAO) to ensure that the regulatory framework is in place before theAW609 TiltRotor starts operating in the commercial market place.
The third prototype, now being assembled at AgustaWestland’s Vergiate facility, will join the flight test program in 2014 in support of this certification flight testing. A fourth prototype will join the certification program at a later date to allow the new avionics suite to be flight tested, the statement added.