Saturday, February 11, 2006

Roy Hopkins and Dwayne Williams Bell BA609

Maiden flight of the world's first civil tiltrotor, the Bell/Agusta Aerospace BA609, was achieved on 7 March 2003. At Arlington, Texas, the prototype hovered at an altitude of 50 feet, performed left and right peddle turns, both forward and aft flight maneuvers, four take-offs and landings, nacelle position changes and stability testing for 36 minutes before setting down. "The first flight was flawless, the 609 performed exactly as we knew it would,” explained Bell/Agusta Senior Flight Test Pilot Roy Hopkins who is the world's high time tiltrotor pilot with over 1,000 flight hours in the V-22 Osprey and XV-15 tiltrotor aircraft. Bell test pilot Dwayne Williams flew as co-pilot.