Bell Agusta BA609 Tiltrotor First Flight Milestone
Officials of the Bell/Agusta team say that they've flown the second prototype of the smaller cousin of the V-22 Osprey, their BA609 tiltrotor.
According to a statement issued by Bell/Agusta, the aircraft, known by the designation a/c 60002, accomplished the milestone flight from the Italian Air Force field at Cameri, Italy, on November 9, 2006.
This corporate sized tiltrotor was flown by pilot Pietro Venanzi and co-pilot Herb Moran. The flight lasted 52 minutes and ended at 15:07 local time according to the helicopter manufacturers.
During the flight the convertiplane (a hybrid of fixed-wing airplane and rotorcraft) performed peddle turns in both directions, forward and aft flight maneuvers, several take-offs and landings, nacelle position changes and stability testing, according to Bell/Agusta.
The first prototype, BA609 a/c 60001, is continuing flight test at Bell's Flight Research Center in Arlington, Texas. As we publish, it has accumulated over 100 hours of flight test time and has operated at 25,000 feet and speeds up to 304 knots (563 km/h).
Bell/Agusta says they will obtain dual certification (European and FAA) in 2010 with military qualification and deliveries following soon after.
Click this link or the photos above to see a larger copy of this image and other airplane images: BA609 Tiltrotor Pictures
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