Leonardo's initial AgustaWestland AW609 flight-test prototype has begun transitioning to the company's site in Philadelphia following the resumption of flight tests in late July.

According to tracking website FlightRadar24, the civil tiltrotor (N609TR) traveled from its base at Arlington, Texas on 10 August via Huntsville, Alabama; Greenville, South Carolina; and Richmond, Virginia.

The restart of flight-test activities is an important step for the programme, as the manufacturer looks to regain time lost following a self-imposed grounding following the fatal crash of its second flight-test article in October 2015.

Italian investigators in an interim report suggested that the crash was the result of a poor understanding of the aircraft's high-speed handling, and flawed logic in flight-control computers.

Leonardo confirms that recent flight trials took place in both helicopter and airplane modes.

Aircraft AC1 will eventually be relocated to Italy, while a third prototype, currently at Cascina Costa, Italy, will be shipped to Philadelphia to start certification flights later this year.

Leonardo confirmed at last month's Farnborough air show that certification of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-powered AW609 has slipped to 2018, with first delivery set for the end of that year.

Source: FlightGlobal.com