Tokyo’s metro government evaluating AW609

First two production AW609s under final assembly; training system with full flight simulator expected to be ready this year


Use this oneThe Tokyo metropolitan government recently announced the intention to evaluate the Leonardo AW609 multirole commercial tiltrotor’s unique capabilities to deliver transport to Ogasawara island in the future. The commercial tiltrotor, combining turboprop-like performance (speed, range, altitude) and rotorcraft versatility (vertical take-off/landing and hovering) would deliver services to reach Ogasawara, approximately 1,000 km from Tokyo. Missions could be performed in all weather conditions and with limited infrastructural impact thanks to its helicopter-like footprint.

The AW609 can fly at up to 275 knots with a 25,000 ft altitude and 1,000 nautical mile maximum range. It also has a pressurised cabin and ‘green’ technology features to reduce emissions and noise. The AW609 is suited to meet a range of operational requirements in Japan such as passenger transport, EMS, SAR, surveillance, electronic newsgathering and VVIP transport. With a fleet of over 130 helicopter of various models in Japan today performing a wide variety of civil, public service and military missions, Leonardo has a long-standing in-country presence with a comprehensive support service network.

The AW609 will be the first civil certified tiltrotor aircraft and will be able to provide private and business travel, emergency medical service (EMS), search and rescue (SAR), offshore operations and patrol, among other uses. The AW609 carries up to nine passengers. The first two production AW609s are currently being assembled in Philadelphia. An advanced flight training device and the world’s first AW609 full flight simulator will be available for training later this year.

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