Bell/Augusta 609 Tilt Rotor
Aero-News calls it the "impossicopter" for good reason. The Bell/Agusta BA609 is another entry into the plane/copter category. Bell/Augusta isn't marketing the 609 yet but they already have 60 orders. The BA609; is a tiltrotor convertiplane, that has some of the advantages of a twin engine plane and some of a traditional helicopter. To fly this unique craft, test pilots attend training at Bell/Agusta's Alliance Airport Tiltrotor Training Facility in Fort Worth, Texas. Pilots have to have both rotorcraft helicopter and airplane multiengine land category and class ratings, and a Commercial Pilot Certificate with an Instrument Rating and 1500 hours total time. The advantages of the BA609 include the fact that it can land outside of an airport like a helicopter but is far faster. It will be more expensive to buy, fly and insure than most copters and it doesn't go as fast as a business jet but there are still plenty of applications for this versatile craft. The Bell/Augusta website has a movie on the website that shows the unique craft in action.