Finmeccanica and Era Group Inc. (Era) announced today the signing of a platform development Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the AgustaWestland AW609 TiltRotor program. The announcement was made at Heli-Expo (Louisville, Kentucky) during an official ceremony.
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 to support emergency tasks in demanding conditions.
Source: AgustaWestland, A Finmeccanica Company (Milan: FNC.MI)
Date: Mar 3, 2016