Dubai is to play host to the first company in the world set up solely to operate the Bell Boeing 609 Tiltrotor aircraft.

The company, Petroleum Tiltrotors International, is a joint venture between Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Sheikh and an unnamed Dubai oil and gas support company.

The Sheikh bought his first 609 at the Paris air show in June and has added a second aircraft at Dubai. The first delivery is set for the second half of 2001.

Bell Boeing now has 45 announced purchasers of the 609, which is due to have its first flight in mid-1999 and the first delivery about two years later.

Petroleum Tiltrotors plans to acquire up to 15 aircraft by 2010. Aerogulf Services of Dubai will provide engineering support.

Source: Flight International