Our Bureau
09:42 AM, September 16, 2015
AgustaWestland AW609 TiltRotor sets speed record
AgustaWestland AW609 Tiltrotor sets speed record

The Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland AW609 TiltRotor has set a speed record on a 1000 km ‘point-to-point’ journey.

The aircraft, with its combination of the turboprop airplane’s speed and helicopter’s take-off and landing capabilities, flew from its Yeovil facility in southwest England to its Cascina Costa facility near Milan, Italy, a distance of 1161 km, in just 2 hours 18 minutes.

While the AW609 is developed as a civilian chopper, its military role as a competitor to the US Osprey is a possibility.

The AW609 will be able to connect two important cities, such as London and Milan, in about two hours, taking off and landing vertically from the cities’ urban areas just like a helicopter, flying at the cruise speed of a turboprop airplane in all weather conditions, the company announced today.

Combining fixed-wing and rotary-wing flight attributes, the AW609 provides at least 30% to 50% time savings when compared to using a combination of car, helicopter and business jet, typically for travel to destinations up to 1100 km (700 miles) away.

The flight started with a vertical take-off from Yeovil. The aircraft then climbed to its en route cruising altitude of 25,000 ft (8,000 m), passing north of Southampton, just south of Paris, over the Alps and Piemonte in Italy, before descending and landing at Cascina Costa near Milan just 2 hours 18 minutes later.

The AW609 TiltRotor opens up new possibilities for a wide range of missions for corporate transport but also offshore transport, search and rescue, emergency medical services and homeland security among others.

The AW609 TiltRotor is set to achieve civil US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) certification in 2017 with deliveries scheduled to start soon after.