Leonardo: working to bring the AW609 tiltrotor to the Japanese market
- Leonardo and Nakanihon Air Service sign an MoU to evaluate tiltrotor operations in Japan for transport and public service roles
- Leonardo is deploying a global campaign for the world’s first multirole commercial tiltrotor
- The AW609 is now entering series production ahead of FAA certification
- The first Full mission flight simulator will be operational in 2020 in USA
Leonardo and Nakanihon Air Service, Co., Ltd. of Japan (Nakanihon Air Service) signed at Heli-Expo a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a joint working group that will study requirements for introducing the AW609 commercial multirole tiltrotor into service in Japan. Leonardo already supplies a range of advanced rotorcraft technology to the benefit of Japanese civil and government users.
The AW609 represents the next generation of aircraft transport under the all-new, rigorous power lift civil certification category being set by FAA, and is now entering the series production phase at Leonardo Philadelphia facility. In line with market interest, the AW609 first Full Motion simulator will be available in 2020.
The AW609 excels at reaching people in hard-to-access areas including densely populated city-centers; high mountains, coastlines, and far-flung islands; and low population regions where the nearest hospital is many miles away—all with unprecedented performance and all-weather capabilities.
Thanks to turboprop-like speed, a 25,000 ft altitude and 2000 km maximum range, users will benefit from unique flying capabilities above adverse weather and a pressurized cabin for maximized comfort and patient medical treatment, while maintaining rotorcraft vertical take-off and landing / hovering versatility.
Nakanihon Air Service said: “At Nakanihon Air Service we operate about 80 aircraft, both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, and we are very interested in the new tiltrotor category. Through this joint working group with Leonardo, we would like to 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 will leverage the Nakanihon Air Service experience as one of the largest fixed and rotary wing operators in Japan and a Leonardo Authorized Service Center for decades in delivering charter, goods transport, aerial photography and EMS/SAR services across the nation to identify opportunities for the world’s first multirole / commercial tiltrotor in Japan and offer the AW609 for a range of roles such as transport and EMS/SAR. Their combined fixed/rotary wing operational and service expertise makes Nakanihon Air Service the ideal partner.
There are over 130 helicopters in service in Japan performing law enforcement, emergency medical service, search and rescue, firefighting, disaster relief, VIP/corporate transport, electronic news gathering and naval utility.