Leonardo has flown the first production AW609 commercial tiltrotor in a major milestone for the program.
The AW609—registered N609LH—flew from the company’s Philadelphia facility on Oct. 13. The manufacturer stated that a further three customer aircraft are now on the final assembly line.
Known as AC5, the aircraft is formally the first AW609 to be produced—the four prototypes that supported the development program were all modified from when the aircraft was first developed as the Agusta-Bell BA609; one of which was lost in an accident in Italy during a test flight in 2015.
“This amazing achievement adds to several milestones for the AW609 program over the last year, through its technical progress and during its public appearances,” Leonardo Helicopters Managing Director Gian Piero Cutillo said Oct. 19.