10/31/2009. Bell started development of the Model 609 in 1996, in 1998 the control of the project was transferred to Bell/Agusta Aerospace Company, a joint venture of Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., USA, and Costruzioni Aeronautiche Giovanni Agusta SpA, Italy, and since the type is redesignated BA609.
Two aircraft have been built, N609TR c/n 60001, first flown March 7, 2003 in the USA, and N609AG c/n 60002, first flown November 9, 2006 in Italy. Agusta merged in 2001 with Westland of the UK, and although the type is now marketed as the Bell/AgustaWestland BA609, the two prototypes are registered in the USA as Bell Helicopter Textron 609.
After the first flight in 2003, first delivery was scheduled 2007, after the first flight of the second prototype in 2006, first delivery was rescheduled 2010, however, deliveries of the received orders for over 80 aircraft from 40 customers in 20 different countries will be delayed for another three years as joint FAA (USA)/JAA (European Union) certification is presently expected in 2013.