AgustaWestland announced Monday at the Helicopter Association International’s annual convention in Orlando, Fla., that the AW609 civil tiltrotor will be manufactured at its plant in Philadelphia, Pa., and that most flight test activity will be moving to the U.S.
AgustaWestland also revealed significant payload and range improvements for the 609 that could potentially give it an max takeoff weight equal to or in excess of 17,500 pounds in STOL or running takeoffs and a standard maximum range without reserves of 750 nautical miles or 1,100 nautical miles with auxiliary fuel tanks. Maximum cruise speed will remain 275 knots at 25,000 feet.
Program manager Clive Scott said he expects the AW609 to be priced comparable to a conventional super-medium helicopter when customer deliveries begin in 2018 after anticipated FAA certification in late 2017. Scott expects the price to be announced by year’s end, and he added that a speculated price of $24 million “was not far off.” AgustaWestland is expected to announce a major offshore energy customer for the AW609 at 10:45 a.m. today, at an event at the company’s booth.
For the complete story by Mark Huber of AINonline, click here.
Photo via AINonline