Moza bint Marwan sets a new milestone for women pilots

Sheikha Moza bint Marwan Al Maktoum has become the first woman to pilot the AW609 tiltrotor, setting a new milestone for female pilots in civil aviation.

Sheikha Moza piloted the revolutionary aircraft during her visit to the US helicopter headquarters of Leonardo, a global high-tech aerospace, defence and security player based in Philadelphia.

Commenting on the opportunity to test the AW609, the world’s first civilian-certified tiltrotor, Sheikha Moza said: “I am thrilled to be the first female pilot to test this revolutionary aircraft. It is not only a personal milestone but also an opportunity to break another glass ceiling for women. I’m always pushing myself to go above and beyond to prove that if I can do it, so can anyone else who is determined enough to try.”

“Piloting the AW609 is something I’ve really wanted to experience since I first saw the first images of the prototype. It’s a natural evolution of my piloting experience, combining both stationary and rotorcraft piloting skills. Aircraft such as the AW609 tiltrotor make me excited to think about the future of aviation, a future that is now open to more women who have chosen the industry,” she added.

William Hunt, managing director of Leonardo Helicopters in the US, said: “Leonardo was honoured to host Sheikha Moza bint Marwan Al Maktoum and provide her with this one-of-a-kind experience of flying the world’s first civilian-certified tiltrotor. The demonstration of the AW609’s piloting capabilities in combination with the fixed and turning propeller was a real milestone for the team in Philadelphia.”

The AW609 is one of the most significant technological innovations in civil aviation, combining the operational versatility of a helicopter (vertical takeoff and landing) with the advantages of an aircraft (sealed cabin, speed, altitude and endurance).

This aircraft will open up new and exciting possibilities for passenger transport and public services. The AW609’s ability to take off and land vertically and hover like a helicopter provides passengers with the comfort of a turboprop aircraft.

The aircraft is capable of performing a variety of missions, including VIP transportation, emergency medical services, search and rescue, and government missions. The AW609 can fly at speeds in excess of 500 km/h with a range of nearly 1,400 km, which increases to 2,000 km when auxiliary tanks are used.

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