This aircraft is based on the technology of the much larger Bell V-22 Osprey and Bell's experiences with the XV-15 experimental aircraft. The tilting engines make it able to make connections from helicopter landing pads with the transfer speed of a conventional propeller airplane.
The first prototype flew in 2003 and the first flight lasted 36 minutes. In 2011, the certification should come from the Federal Aviation Administration on the 4 prototypes built, and then start mass production. Among the companies involved in the production there is also Japan's Fuji Heavy Industries, which will build all the fuselages. The aircraft has already scored 83 orders from 44 customers in 23 different countries.
On 21 September 2009, the managing director of AgustaWestland, Giuseppe Orsi said that the holding company Finmeccanica owns authorized the purchase of the stake in Bell Helicopter's program in order to speed it up and take control. In 2011, Bell was negotiated with the transfer of technologies in common with the V-22.
In June 2011, AgustaWestland has taken full ownership of the program that was accumulating delays and the aircraft was renamed as "AW609".
Bell Helicopter will retain the role of designer and interested in certification.
Passenger, 6 or 9 passengers and two crew members. For the moment, the aircraft is designed only as a means of transferring executive type, without the limitations of a conventional aircraft in landing, owing to its ability to VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing).