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Leonardo AW609 tiltrotor eyes Japanese market
AW609 third prototype. © Leonardo

Leonardo AW609 tiltrotor eyes Japanese market

Leonardo and Nakanihon Air Service of Japan are setting up a joint working group to study requirements for introducing the AW609 commercial tiltrotor into service in Japan.

Leonardo and Nakanihon Air Service of Japan have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a joint working group that will study requirements for introducing the AW609 commercial tiltrotor into service in Japan. The MoU was signed at Heli-Expo 2019.

The Japanese operator said the joint working group would explore the applications of the AW609 to future aeromedical services, disaster emergency response and news coverage as well as new areas of business.

During the next 12 months, the working group aims to capitalise on Nakanihon Air Service's experience as one of the largest fixed and rotary wing operators in Japan and a Leonardo Authorized Service Centre for decades.

Also at the Heli-Expo show, Leonardo announced the start of production of the world’s first AW609 tiltrotor Level D Full Flight Simulator (FFS). The system will be installed into the new Training Academy being developed at the company’s helicopter facility based in Philadelphia and will be in service in 2020.

The AW609 simulator is developed in collaboration with CAE and based on the CAE 3000 Series FFS that features CAE’s roll-on/roll-off cockpit design, enabling cockpits representing various Leonardo helicopter types to be used in the full-motion base simulator.

The AW609 simulator will deliver the most advanced level of training to all customers undertaking the AW609 Type Rating for their operations worldwide, as well as for recurrent training for rated pilots.

The AW609 is currently undergoing FAA certification in the Powered Lift category.

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