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AW609 A/C3 completes first ground run

5th May 2016 - 03:05 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The third prototype of the AW609 tilt-rotor aircraft, designated A/C3, has completed its first ground run at the Cascina Costa facilities in Italy, Leonardo - formally Finmeccanica - announced on 4 May.

The programme is moving toward the resumption of flight testing following the loss of a prototype in October 2015.

A/C3 conducted restrained ground run testing with all systems and engines operational. The tests will prepare the prototype for flight testing for FAA airworthiness certification in the summer of 2016, followed by icing tests in the winter of 2016. 

The AW609 is a vertical take-off and landing aircraft that can cruise at up to 275 knots and fly at heights of 25,000ft, with a range of up to 1,000nm with available fuel options.

The first prototype restarted test activities in April 2016. The fourth prototype A/C4 is being assembled and will join the test fleet in 2017. Certification of the first tilt-rotor is expected to take place in 2018, followed by deliveries.

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