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The fourth AW609 (AC4), fully representative of the final production configuration, was shipped from Leonardo’s Philadelphia facility where it was built on its production line, to Genoa’s harbor in Italy where it was offloaded and later flown to Leonardo Helicopters’ headquarters in Cascina Costa di Samarate, close to Milan-Malpensa Airport, arriving on Mar. 2, 2021.
The aircraft is scheduled to remain there to support the final stage of program testing ahead of civil certification. The AC4 transfer to Italy allows Leonardo to maintain production representative aircraft both in the U.S. and Italy as the first prototype – AC1, is now solely used for ground-based and load testing. Furthermore, when appropriate, AC4 will also allow customer-dedicated demonstration activities for European operators and other potential users worldwide, mirroring similar activities to be carried out by aircraft in the U.S. for customers in the Americas and other geographies. The transfer of AC4 to Italy brings the program to the next market-oriented stage. The industrialization, customer service and training service of the AW609 program intensifies in Philadelphia through the new training academy and new final assembly hangar.
This story was prepared and distributed by Leonardo.