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AW609 prototype in Philadelphia

12th August 2016 - 02:08 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The first flying prototype of the AW609 tiltrotor aircraft has arrived at Leonardo-Finmeccanica's Philadelphia facility after the recent resumption of flight testing, the company announced on 11 August.

The programme suffered a setback in October 2015 when an AW609 prototype crashed in Italy with the loss of two pilots. 

Leonardo has expanded the AW609 programme to include the Philadelphia facility as the programme moves toward assembly and certification by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) - this is expected to take place in 2018.  Facilities in Poland, the UK and Italy will continue to play critical production roles.

The prototype will soon be relocated to Italy, and flight testing activities in Philadelphia will continue upon the arrival of an AW609 assembled and ground tested in Italy. Another AW609 is currently being assembled in Philadelphia with plans to enter the test fleet in 2017.

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