Leonardo Production – Conforming AW609 Expected To Fly Soon

The fifth prototype in Leonardo’s AW609 tiltrotor program is nearing final completion at the airframer’s U.S. assembly facility in Philadelphia, and it is expected to make its first flight later this summer. During a visit to the site last week by AIN, P5, the first production-conforming aircraft, was seen with its wing mated to the fuselage, while the sixth airframe—which is slated to be the first production aircraft, destined for launch customer Bristow—sat behind it awaiting wing attachment.

Though the construction of these two aircraft will be completed in one end of the AW119 assembly lines, future AW609 production will move to a nearby, recently acquired hangar. Meanwhile, the company expects its AW609 full-flight simulator and flight training device to receive FAA approvals later this year.

According to Bill Sunich, the airframer’s head of tiltrotor marketing, Leonardo has not yet finalized a price tag for the 609, telling AIN that he expects it will be somewhere between $20 million and $30 million per copy. While Sunich declined to discuss order numbers, he noted “we have tremendous interest across all the mission sets—VIP and corporate, search and rescue, EMS, [and] offshore energy exploration around the world.” Courtesy of AIN.

International Aircraft Sales and Acquisitions | Aviation Services, Support and Management | General Aviation Importers / Exporters