Buy Your Own V22, Kinda: Bell 609 Civilian Tiltrotor Gets Rolled-OutS

Forget the improbable promises of the Falx tiltrotor: Bell aircraft has rolled out its 609 civilian tiltrotor for real. Looking and flying like a smaller cousin of the military V22 Osprey, also a Bell vehicle, the 609 will undoubtedly please millionaire business people since it can perform all the rooftop-landing duties of a normal helicopter, but flies twice as fast and can fly 9 passengers up to 25,000 feet altitude. Plus, it'd be undeniably cooler to turn up at your meetings in something that looks like it belongs in a sci-fi flick versus something that reminds people of Magnum, PI.

From the sales pitch: "an executive could conceivably take off from the helipad of a country house outside London, fly in comfort to a meeting in Frankfurt in just 60 minutes, then fly on to Zurich, Milan and back home for early dinner" you can guess that these luxury choppers are going to cost quite the packet. Somewhere between a corporate helicopter (which is simpler in design) and a corporate jet (which is more complex.) So, tens of millions then, but you'll have to wait a bit as the aircraft isn't yet certified.

Plus, with all that rotating-engine tech aboard, they'll cost more to maintain than your average helicopter. And if you're a rich business type thinking of buying one, you'd better get your pilots well trained. Remember how tricky the V22 has been to develop?



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