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FARNBOROUGH: AW609 nears 1,000h of flight testing

AgustaWestland has revealed more detail on the developmental AW609 civil tiltrotor’s orderbook, as flight testing for the type nears the 1,000h milestone.

Although declining to reveal the names of any operators, the Anglo-Italian airframer says the type’s 50 orders include commitments for “applications such as executive/VIP, offshore, emergency medical services, search and rescue and parapublic/Government operations”.

The company is not planning to announce any further deals in the near term, although it continues to “discuss sales opportunities” with its customer base. The airframer says it has “been preparing performance and configuration documentation that will permit additional sales agreements to be signed”.

The two flying prototypes have so far logged nearly 1,000h, with a third aircraft in final assembly due to join the test fleet by the end of 2014.

Certification for the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C-powered tiltrotor is scheduled for 2017.

Meanwhile, work has commenced on a “next-generation” tiltrotor under the European Commission’s Clean Sky 2 programme.

The programme intends to see “an advanced demonstrator fly by 2020, featuring a number of new technologies in the areas of aerodynamics, airframe design and powerplant”, AgustaWestland says.

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