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Italy’s Leonardo expects FAA certification of AW609 tilt-rotor next year By Reuters

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DUBAI, (Reuters) – Leonardo is an Italian aerospace manufacturer that expects to have the AW609 certified by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration in 2022. That’s nearly two decades since the first test flight.

The AW609 twin-engine tilt-rotor helicopter can fly like a normal helicopter, but it can also take off and land like a helicopter.

Alessandro Profumo, Chief Executive of the company said that the two first AW609s he built were already in production. He expects to have them delivered once the aircraft has been certified.

He said that “we’re fairly close to the last step”, Reuters reported at the Dubai Expo World Fair.

A representative of the FAA responded to a Reuters question by saying that they “do not comment” on projects for certification.

Leonardo projects that the AW609 will be in high demand by civil, military, and government officials. This includes transport to offshore oil-gas sites and search and rescue operations.

Profumo stated that there is a lot of interest in our products, which includes potential buyers from Japan, Australia, and the United States.

A prototype AW609 took off for the first time in 2003. Four other prototypes were built, including one that was lost in 2015 and which killed both pilots.

The Italian Flight Safety Agency recommended that software and aerodynamic changes be made to the aircraft after the crash.

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Mike Robinson
Mike covers the financial, utilities and biotechnology sectors for Street Register. He has been writing about investment and personal finance topics for almost 12 years. Mike has an MBA in Finance from Wake Forest University.