The 4th AW609 (AC4), fully representative of the final production configuration, had been shipped from Leonardo’s Philadelphia facility where it was built on its production line, to Genoa’s harbour in Italy where it was offloaded and later flew to Leonardo Helicopters’ Headquarters in Cascina Costa di Samarate, close to Milan-Malpensa Airport, arriving on 2 March. The aircraft is due to remain at the headquarters to support the final stage of programme testing ahead of civil certification. The AC4 transfer to Italy allows Leonardo to maintain production representative aircraft both in US 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 US for customers in the Americas and other geographies. The transfer of AC4 to Italy brings the programme to the next market-oriented stage. The industrialisation, customer service and training service of the AW609 programme intensifies in Philadelphia through the new training academy and new final assembly hangar.

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