The BA609 has a range that is three times more than the range of a helicopter (‘The BA609: The World’s First Civilian Tiltrotor’, 2006). The top speed of the aircraft is almost three times that of a helicopter while the ceiling is also higher.
“The BA609 cruises at about 20,000 ft, with a maximum speed of 275 knots–much faster and higher than a helicopter” (Bartlett, 2000). The payload is also more for the BA609 as compared to that of a helicopter with an increased seating capacity as well. “The transition from helicopter mode to airplane mode takes 20 seconds, as does the transition from airplane mode to helicopter mode. This versatile capability enables the BA609 to fly with twice the speed and range of conventional helicopters” (‘Bell/Agusta Achieves Civil Tiltrotor Milestone Mates Wing and Fuselage for First Prototype BA 609’, 2000).
The safety features of the aircraft pertain to the fact that when it comes to emergency landing the BA609 can make a landing using the speed of a tubeprop and the flexibility and manoeuvring of a helicopter. The exterior of the aircraft is robust making it durable for long term use.
Due to its versatile characteristics and the advantages that it presents for vertical lift “corporations and private individuals are showing more interest because the BA609 is well suited to trips up to 500 mi., and governments are looking at the aircraft as a potential platform for search-and-rescue operations, border patrol and management” (Philips, 2008)
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