The AgustaWestland AW609 TiltRotor has set a speed record on a point to point journey totalling 627 nm. The aircraft, which combines the speed of a turboprop with a helicopter's take-off and landing capabilities, flew from the company's Yeovil facility in the south west of the UK to its Cascina Costa facility near Milan, Italy, in two hours and 18 minutes.
For the manufacturer, this record confirms the advantages of the tiltrotor concept for point to point business. By taking off and landing vertically from urban centres and flying at the cruise speed of a turboprop aircraft in all weather conditions, the AW609 is predicted to provide time savings of between 30 and 50 per cent when compared to using a combination of car, helicopter and business jet.
The aircraft can transport up to nine passengers in its pressurised cabin, and has been designed for a range of applications including corporate transport, offshore transport, SAR, EMS and homeland security. It is set to achieve FAA certification in 2017, with deliveries scheduled to begin soon after.