Leonardo Considers Alternate Compliance for AW609 Certification

FAA Advisory Circular 29-2C appears to support use of computer data.

leonardo AW609
ERA is slated to become the first AW609 customer following FAA certificationLeonardo

Italian helicopter builder Leonardo continues to work toward FAA certification of the world’s first civilian tiltrotor, the AW609. Part of the aircraft’s certification is proving to regulators that the AW609 can successfully autorotate to a landing following a dual engine failure. The company wants the FAA to consider some flight simulator data gathered to verify compliance with that requirement, in part to avoid potentially damaging a test aircraft during autorotation flight testing.

In order to minimize safety problems along the way, Leonardo wants the FAA to consider computer data gathered from the AW609 simulator combined with actual flight test data. Wells said, “The AW609 simulator has shown the ability of the tiltrotor to land safely,” with both engines out. The AW609 has already performed dozens of flight-based autorotations, including many at different centers of gravity."

Leonardo's AW609 test pilot Dan Wells said to date, "The company has chosen to show it is safe to perform a touchdown autorotation by performing simulated all-engines-inoperative flight at safe altitudes above the ground," Rotor & Wing recently reported.

The AW609 is scheduled for certification in 2019 followed by first deliveries to launch customer ERA by 2020.

The AW609 is scheduled for certification in 2019 followed by first deliveries to launch customer ERA by 2020.