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Leonardo (AgustaWestland) AW609 TiltRotor

Italy (2020)
Picture of Leonardo (AgustaWestland) AW609 TiltRotor Multirole Tiltrotor Transport

AgustaWestland is working on a tiltrotor product for the civilian market through the AW609 TiltRotor initiative.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Leonardo (AgustaWestland) AW609 TiltRotor Multirole Tiltrotor Transport.  Entry last updated on 6/22/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

Tiltrotors seemingly combine the best of two worlds in the scope of aviation - the fast, straight-line speed of a fixed-wing aircraft with the Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) capabilities of a helicopter. The tilting action of the engines allows for such functionality and, therefore, provides a single platform encapsulating the qualities of two aircraft in one - namely versatility and performance. Italian helicopter-maker AgustaWestland (AW), having secured the remainder of the tiltrotor program from Bell Helicopters (a former partner) in November 2011, has taken on development of the AW609. The AW609 is a tiltrotor product intended for the civilian, commercial and special services market. The aircraft is largely based on the original Bell XV-15 of the 1970s which went on to heavily influenced the modern Bell Boeing V-22 "Osprey" currently in service with the U.S. military. As it stands, the AW609 is set to become the first civil-minded tiltrotor anywhere in the world.

The AW609 features a crew of two with internal passenger seating for six to nine people depending on configuration. The cabin is fully pressurized to provide high-altitude flying and can be modified for various roles including Search and Rescue (SAR) and surveillance. A retractable, wheeled undercarriage helps to retain aerodynamic efficiency during flight, conforming to the general shape of the fuselage. High-mounted wings help the engine nacelles in clearing the large diameter, three-bladed composite rotor blades. The engines are fitted at the extreme ends of a composite wing structure and tilt to drive air downwards or level to drive air rearwards, providing lift and/or forward flight as needed. The tail unit is of a "T-style" configuration. The cockpit features an all-glass digital approach with Fly-By-Wire (FBW) controlling, an onboard diagnostics computer, three color Multi-Function Displays (MFDs), GPS navigation and an integrated weather radar. The rotor blades are heated to prevent ice build-up.

The AW609 is cleared with a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) nearing 18,000lbs and is driven by 2 x Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C-67A turboshaft engines rated at 1,940 horsepower each. This will supply the airframe with a maximum speed of 315 miles per hour with a cruise speed around 300 miles per hour. Rate-of-climb is listed at 1,500 feet per minute with maximum range reported as 860 miles. It is noteworthy that the stated performance figures exceed those as found on traditional helicopter aircraft to which AgustaWestland will assuredly bank on in marketing. Dimensions include an overall length of 46 feet with a height of 16.7 feet and a width of 60 feet including the rotors.

While development for AgustaWestland has proven slow, the aircraft is due for certification sometime in 2017 (though this delayed from 2016). Delays have been blamed on the modernization required of the original Bell design and the attempt to reduce overall costs for when the AW609 inevitably goes into serial production for awaiting customers.

Despite the project headed by AgustaWestland of Europe, the AW609 is being developed stateside near Arlington, Texas in the United States. The uniqueness of the AW609 will force the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) to generate an all-new set of standards for tiltrotor civil aircraft. Of course, acceptance into American airspace will go a long way in helping to market the AW609 in other countries and regions. There may also be a second production facility arranged in the United States to complement the existing AgustaWestland establishment in Italy.

Any available statistics for the Leonardo (AgustaWestland) AW609 TiltRotor Multirole Tiltrotor Transport are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).




  Program Updates  


On October 30th, 2015, the second prototype crashed killing both of its test pilots. The crashed occurred in Vergiate northeast of Turin. This has grounded the first prototype, currently residing in the United States, from further flight testing.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced its intention to invest in the AW609 Tiltrotor program with the commitment to become three aircraft

November 2015 - United Arab Emirates Joint Aviation Command has contracted for three AW609 tiltrotors in a Search-and-Rescue (SAR) configuration.

May 2016 - The AW609 program has encountered another setback as Italian prosecutors have confiscated the third AW609 prototype - delaying its delivery to the United States for flight testing.

January 2016 - Leonardo has resumed flight testing of its AW609 Tiltrotor aircraft. The product is set to be certified sometime in 2018.

March 2017 - Certification for the AW609 has been reaffirmed for 2018. A third flyable prototype has been added to the flight testing program with a fourth prototype currently under construction.

February 2018 - In another delay for the AW609 program, certification is now scheduled for the end of 2019.

February 2018 - The AW609 is on pace to enter service some time in 2020.

March 2018 - FAA certification of the AW609 has been delayed until late-2019. Service entry is still on pace for some time in 2020. Leonardo will add a production standard (forth prototype) to the AW609 stable before the end of 2018. The company claims to have some 50 units on order from various global customers to date.






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (317mph).

    Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Leonardo AW609 TiltRotor's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
3
3


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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Origin: Italy
Year: 2020
Type: Multirole Tiltrotor Transport
Manufacturer(s): Leonardo-Finmeccanica (AgustaWestland) - Italy
Production: 3
Status: In-Development
Global Operators:
Italy (possible); United Arab Emirates (ordered); United States (possible)
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Leonardo AW609 TiltRotor model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
2


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
43.96 ft


Meters
13.4 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
38.39 ft


Meters
11.7 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
21.98 ft


Meters
6.7 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
10,483 lb


Kilograms
4,755 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
16,755 lb


Kilograms
7,600 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C-67A turboshaft engines developing 1,940 shaft horsepower each.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
317 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
510 kph


Knots
275 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
870 mi


Kilometers
1,400 km


Nautical Miles
756 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
24,934 ft


Meters
7,600 m


Miles
4.72 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
1,500 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
457 m/min

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

None.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• AW609 "TiltRotor" - Base Series Designaton