Bell/Agusta Aerospace has begun ground runs of the second of four BA609 tiltrotor prototypes at joint venture partner AgustaWestland's facility in Cameri, Italy, in preparation for the aircraft's first flight in the third quarter of this year. The first six- to nine-seat BA609 made its maiden flight in March 2003 and testing continues at Bell's flight research centre, in Arlington, Texas. Certification is planned for late 2009 with first deliveries the following year. Sixty 609s are on order, Bell/Agusta says.

Source: Flight International