In The Works: Bell/Agusta BA609 Tiltrotor
The BA609 Tiltrotor program is continuing slowly toward certification, now planned for 2010. At Heli-Expo, a Bell spokesman confirmed that the company has applied to the FAA for a type certificate, which usually signifies serious intent because it starts the clock on the certification deadline (three years for Part 23, five years for Part 25), and it took orders for two more BA609s at the show. For many years, Bell/ Agusta has said that orders stand at more than 60, which accounts for the first two years of production. Two prototypes are flying, and a third, being built in Italy at AgustaWestland facilities, will fly next year. The fourth prototype, built by Bell, will follow.