Operator interest in BA609 wanes

 - September 20, 2007, 7:17 AM

The BA609 tiltrotor that flew at the Paris Air Show put on an impressive display, but potential buyers said they  had misgivings about the hybrid design. Several of the operators interviewed deemed the aircraft’s performance “fabulous,” if only in theory.
All expressed little interest, however, in a rotorcraft they apparently see as too expensive, too big for use on standard-size helipads and yet too small for comfortable executive transport over the distances the BA609 will travel. Many said they knew very little about the BA609, despite the fact that the civil tiltrotor has been in development for more than a decade. Even the most bullish operators conceded they are in “wait-and-see” mode with regard to the BA609, with a main concern about the tiltrotor hinging on price, which is expected to be in the $16 million to $20 million range when the tiltrotor eventually makes it to market.