AW609 programme to begin icing trials
Leonardo's AW609 tiltrotor programme is set to begin icing trials following on from ground and flight testing activities, the company announced on 9 February.
The third AW609 prototype has performed several weeks of unrestrained ground testing and flight trials that allowed the aircraft's avionics and all systems to be fully tested. During initial flights, the aircraft performed basic hovering and manoeuvring and patterns around the airport, concluding with hover landing. Additional flights up to altitudes of 4,000ft with short take-off and landing are planned shortly.
The aircraft will undergo icing trials in Marquette, Michigan, through the winter. The tests will ensure the AW609 can fly in known icing conditions and reach required operational standards.
The first production build aircraft is planned for 2018, along with FAA certification.
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