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AW609 third prototype began its first ground power tests

World Aviation Defense & Security Industry News - Leonardo
AW609 third prototype began its first ground power tests
Leonardo-Finmeccanica announced the completion of the ground run of the AgustaWestland’s AW609 third prototype. This is a milestone in the tiltrotor platform’s development, ahead of the upcoming flight-testing activities and in preparation of the FAA’s certification flight tests in the USA this summer.
AW609 third prototype began its first ground power tests 640 001The AW609 during the ground run tests
(Credit: Leonardo/AgustaWestland)
The AW609 successfully carried out restrained ground run testing with all engines and systems operating. As a result of the ground run, the company has restarted last month the test series of the first prototype. The last prototype will also be used for the icing trials in the coming winter.

The new platform will be a milestone for the civil aviation, as the first tiltrotor platform that will be able for vertical take-off and landing, while flying like an airplane at cruise speeds of 275 knots. Its maximum flight altitude will be 25,000 ft, its range of 1,000 nm, with the nine passengers and crew travelling in a pressurized cabin.

The programme has seen some major delays due to development problems, including the fatal crash of the second prototype in October 2015. The certification is scheduled now for 2018, instead of 2017 that was initially planned.