The second prototype of the Bell/Agusta BA609 tiltrotor (S/N 60002) logged its first flight on November 9 at AgustaWestland’s facility in Cameri, Italy. During the flight, which lasted 52 minutes, the nacelle/rotors were tilted 15 degrees forward of vertical thrust. BA609 S/N 60003 is already at Cameri and S/N 60004 is on the assembly line in Fort Worth, Texas. BA609 A/C 60001 is continuing flight-testing at Bell’s Flight Research Center in Arlington, Texas. To date it has logged more than 100 hours of flight-test time and has operated at 25,000 feet and speeds up to 304 knots. Bell/Agusta will produce a total of four prototype tiltrotors for flight-testing in the U.S. and Italy. European and FAA certification is planned in 2010. Bell/Agusta said that it has received orders for 60 civil versions and for an undisclosed number of government customers–more than the first two years of production.
Second BA609 Tiltrotor Prototype Now Flying
- November 14, 2006, 10:34 AM