Leonardo was honored to host Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Marwan Al Maktoum at its United States’ helicopter headquarters in Philadelphia, providing her the opportunity to personally test the revolutionary AW609, the world’s first tiltrotor set to receive civil certification.
Sheikha Mozah Bint Marwan Al Maktoum was the first woman to pilot the AW609, setting a new and important milestone for female pilots in civil aviation, the company said.
“Leonardo was honored to host Her Highness, providing this one-of-a-kind experience on the world’s first tiltrotor set to achieve civil certification,” stated William Hunt, Managing Director, Leonardo Helicopters in the U.S.
“Demonstrating the AW609’s combined fixed and rotary-winded piloting capabilities was a true milestone for the team in Philadelphia,” he added in a statement May 30.
“I’m thrilled to be the first female pilot to test this revolutionary aircraft. This is not just a personal milestone but an opportunity to shatter another glass ceiling for women. I always push myself beyond my limits to prove that if I can do it, it is also within the reach of anyone else who is determined enough to try,” said Sheikha Mozah.
“Piloting the AW609 has been on my bucket list since I first saw the early prototype images. It is the natural evolution of my piloting experience, merging both fixed and rotary-winged piloting skills. I am still pinching myself for this opportunity! Aircraft like this one make me feel really excited about the future of aviation, a future now open to more women who chose this industry,” said the Dubai royalty who in 2020 made history when she became the Dubai Police’s first female pilot.
The AW609 is one of the most significant technological innovations in the civil aviation landscape, melding the helicopter’s operational versatility (taking off and landing vertically) and the airplane’s performance advantages (pressurized cabin, speed, altitude and endurance abilities), opening new and exciting possibilities for passenger transport and public service.
The AW609 will revolutionise point to point transport. The tiltrotor can take off and land vertically and hover like a helicopter, and fly offering passengers the comfort of a turboprop airplane. Able to operate different kind of missions, including VIP transport, emergency medical service, search and rescue, and government applications, the AW609 can fly at a speed of more than 500 km/h with a range of almost 1,400 km, which can reach 2,000 with auxiliary tanks. Dubai Police operates A109K2, AW139 and AW169 helicopters. – lo/mgm (Images: Leonardo)