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Fortem International Ltd.
Fortem International Ltd.
The monthly news publication for aviation professionals.
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Read our latest feature:   FBO Survey: Europe, Middle East and Africa
Leonardo to supply AW609s to European customer
The AW609 tiltrotor has set another major milestone by further expanding its future user base with the addition of an undisclosed, long-established European operator of Leonardo helicopters.
Leonardo’s AW609 tiltrotors will perform passenger and utility transport missions for a European operator.
Read this story in our May 2022 printed issue.

An undisclosed, long-established European operator of Leonardo helicopters has signed an agreement for the purchase of four AW609 tiltrotors to carry out a range of passenger transport missions supporting its point-to-point operations worldwide.

For this purpose, the tiltrotors will have different dedicated configurations including VIP/corporate and passenger/utility transport.

Leonardo Helicopters MD Gian Piero Cutillo says: “With the distinguished characteristics of the AW609, combining turboprop-like performance (speed, range, altitude) and rotorcraft versatility (vertical take off and landing and hovering) in all weather conditions, and with its limited infrastructural impact thanks to its helicopter-like footprint, the new operator will deliver outstanding services in its markets. Generally, we're convinced more than ever that the AW609 will truly revolutionise point-to-point connections and other air operations, providing a major contribution as the use of air space evolves further.”

The AW609 made its first appearance in the Middle East in late 2021, marking the global commercial launch of the multirole aircraft as it gets closer to the world's first civil certification for a tiltrotor. The AW609 could also contribute to maintaining Leonardo’s leadership in the VIP multi-engine rotorcraft market, which has accounted for a 45 per cent global share in value over the last 10 years. It will also be part of the range of VIP solutions offered under the recently launched Agusta brand.

The AW609 provides fast point-to-point transportation at long ranges, whether it is connecting city centres or providing timely access to remote locations, hosting up to nine passengers in the comfort of a pressurised cabin. It is therefore poised to transform not only private and business travel but also EMS, SAR, offshore operations and patrol, among other tasks, and with both private and government users.

The first production AW609 has recently started ground testing at Leonardo’s facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania while the second one is currently being assembled there too. The programme development has logged in excess of 1,700 flight hours in the US and Italy to date. Users will be provided with comprehensive support and training packages primarily headquartered at the company's new training academy in Philadelphia. This opened in 2021 and includes the first AW609 full flight simulator.

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