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Tokyo Metropolitan Government evaluates the AW609 Tiltrotor for potential flying route to Ogasawara Island

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has announced an evaluation period for the AW609 Tiltrotor concerning the potential of a flying route to Ogasawara Island in Japan, reports

If proven, the Leonardo AW609 would join the company’s fleet of over 130 helicopters serving for civil, public service and military duties as well as a customers’ support services. The first two production AW609s are being constructed in Philadelphia, USA, and in final assembly.

The characteristics of the tiltrotor that combines turboprop-like performance (speed, range, altitude) and rotorcraft versatility (vertical take-off / landing and hovering) would deliver services to Ogasawara, approximately 1000 km from Tokyo. Missions can be performed in all weather conditions and with limited infrastructural impact due to its helicopter characteristics.

The AW609 provides rapid flight over a long distance, whether connecting city centres or providing access to remote locations. Due to a 275 knots speed, a 25,000 ft altitude and 1000 nm maximum range, users benefit from the AW609’s ability to fly above adverse weather in the comfort of a pressurised cabin while maintaining rotorcraft vertical take-off and landing/hovering versatility. The green technology ensures reduced emissions and noise.

The AW609 is suited for a range of operational requirements in Japan such as passenger transport, EMS, SAR, surveillance, electronic newsgathering and VVIP transport.

Leonardo has a long-standing in Japan with a comprehensive support service network that the AW609 will benefit from. The Tiltrotor would support the country with technology innovation and solutions both in public and natural disaster first response.

Leonardo believe the AW609 is “poised to transform 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 and “will fly safely above inclement weather and in known icing conditions.” An AW609 Full Flight Simulator will be available for training later this year.

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