It takes off like a helicopter and flies like an airplane!
The AW609 is a medium-light twin-engine aircraft for civil and military use produced by Leonardo
The AW609 convertiplane, or tiltrotor, the futuristic aircraft that takes off like a helicopter and flies like an airplane will soon be produced in the United States, in Philadelphia. Leonardo’s model is the first in the world destined to obtain the civil certification of the American FAA to fly, late in 2019.
Huge time savings for short-medium range flights
Its tilting engines make it capable of making connections from helicopter landing pads or even parking lots, with the transfer speed of a conventional turboprop propeller plane. Non need to get a car or a copter to go to and from the airport. No time spent taxing. I bet it will be a huge hit in the private plane market.
The first prototype flew in 2003. Three have been ordered by an UAE company, and Nakanihon Air Service of Japan is considering buying several ones. The first delivery is expected in 2020 to Era Group.
Thanks to a speed (more than 500 km/h) comparable to that of a turboprop aircraft, an altitude of around 8000 meters and a maximum range of 2000 km, AW609 users will be able to benefit from unique flight capabilities, with a pressurized cabin optimized to guarantee the maximum comfort and medical treatment of the patient in emergency missions, while maintaining the typical versatility of the helicopter in terms of vertical take-off and landing or stationary flight. “We operate around 80 aircraft, including airplanes and helicopters, and we are very interested in the new tilt-rotor. Through this work group we intend to evaluate the possible applications of the AW609 for rescue missions, civil protection, utilities to support publishing and new business areas “. Nakanihon Air Service declares.
Thanks to its characteristics, the AW609 can quickly reach people in need in areas that are difficult to access by land or with traditional aircraft and can take off and land in densely populated urban areas faster than helicopters and traditional surface vehicles. The tilt-rotor can operate in the high mountains, travel the coasts quickly or connect very distant islands, or reach sparsely populated areas. The convertiplane is able to do this with performance and flight capacity in all weather conditions “unprecedented in the aeronautical field, thus proving an ideal solution in light of the characteristics of the territory of Japan”.
The AW609 represents for Leonardo “the new generation of air transport”, responding to new and rigorous certification requirements established by the FAA in the USA, where Leonardo started series production of the tilt-rotor in the Philadelphia plant and where, in 2020, the first Full Motion simulator of the aircraft will also be operational.
The AW609 is for passenger transport, for 6 or 9 passengers and two crew members. For the time being, the aircraft is designed solely as an executive transfer medium, without the limitations of a conventional landing plane, given its VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) capabilities.
The AW609 technical specifications:
Max speed 616 km / h (333) kt
Cruising speed 510 km / h (275 kt)
Climbing speed 7.62 m / s (1 500 ft / min)
Autonomy 1 390 km (750 nmi, 852 mi)
Service altitude 7 620 m (25 000 ft)