AgustaWestland and Bristow have penned a platform development agreement for the AW609 TiltRotor programme. Under the agreement, the two companies will work to support the development of oil and gas and SAR dedicated configurations and capabilities.
The signing of this agreement sets a major milestone for the development of the first commercial tiltrotor towards FAA certification, which is expected to be achieved in 2017. The production phase for this aircraft has now been initiated.
“We see tremendous opportunities for this aircraft for our clients who are flying to more remote and hostile environments,” says Bristow president and ceo Jonathan Baliff. “With its vertical lift and landing capabilities combined with increased speed, extended range and airline-style amenities, Bristow will be able to provide more value to clients by offering complete logistics solutions with one aircraft type that will take them faster and farther offshore.”
At least 1,100 flight hours have been logged by the first two prototypes and two more aircraft are expected shortly. Sixty global customers have already placed orders for the AW609.