Finmeccanica, Era Sign MoU For AW609 TiltRotor Program Development

  • Our Bureau
  • 07:04 AM, March 3, 2016
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Finmeccanica, Era Sign MoU For AW609 TiltRotor Program Development
Era's AgustaWestland AW609 TiltRotor

Finmeccanica and Era Group Inc (Era) signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Wednesday at Heli-Expo 2016 for the development of AgustaWestland AW609 TiltRotor program.

Under the MoU, Finmeccanica Helicopter Division and Era will engage in joint activities in support of AW609 program development for the emergency medical service (EMS) market including concepts around operations, regulations, maintenance, configuration optimization, as well as identifying possible areas of enhancement or modifications.  The partners would provide contribution to flying activities towards aircraft maturity and address commercial aspects for potential future AW609 acquisitions.

The signing of the agreement sets another major milestone for the development of the first commercial tiltrotor towards FAA certification.  This exclusive agreement further strengthens the long established partnership between Finmeccanica Helicopter Division and Era, the largest global operator of AgustaWestland products such as the AW119, AW109 Power, AW139 and AW189 covering offshore transport and rescue operational requirements. By joining forces through their respective expertise and know-how, the partners are moving towards a marketing and operational preparation stage for its future EMS operations. The agreement to further develop the potential capabilities of the AW609 marks a significant step towards the production of an aircraft type that will provide a unique emergency medical service solution in the future. EMS operators will leverage on the 275 knot maximum speed and 750 nm range of the AW609. With approximately twice the speed and twice the range of a helicopter combined with its all-weather capabilities, the AW609 can dramatically reduce the time it takes tosupport emergency tasks in demanding conditions.

The unique flight characteristics of the AW609 combine the benefits of a helicopter and a fixed-wing aircraft into one aircraft. Taking off and landing vertically, flying above adverse weather conditions with up to nine people in comfort or a combination of stretchers and medical attendants in a pressurized cabin with turboprop-like speed and performance, the AW609 represents the next generation of aircraft transport.