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Bell Boeing/Agusta Bell AB609 variants

hesham

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My dears,

Do you have a drawings to Agusta/Bell AB-619 19-seat and AB-620
22-seat variants of AB-609 tilt wing aircraft ?.
 

hesham

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Hi,

the Bell Model-619;
http://www.vtol.org/vertiflite/BellTiltrotors.htm
 

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Triton

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Agusta Westland has bought out Bell in the BA609 project and it has been renamed the AgustaWestland AW609.

Agusta Westland press release:

AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce today that it has taken full ownership of the BA609 tiltrotor programme. Bell Agusta Aerospace Company (BAAC) will be renamed will remain a US company being the new type certificate applicant to FAA. The new company will be totally owned by AgustaWestland and the BA609 tiltrotor will be rebranded as the AW609.

The agreement is subject to obtaining the required regulatory approvals by the relevant authorities in Europe and the USA.

The AW609 programme will be managed by a single Integrated Development Team, to be based in Cascina Costa, Italy, from autumn 2011. The nearby Cameri site will be dedicated to the development programme for AW609 government applications. AgustaWestland will also open a new operational base in Arlington, Texas, to manage the US based tiltrotor operations. AgustaWestland is fully committed to rapidly proceed with the AW609 programme development capitalizing on the activities already performed so far.

I believe it is in the best interests of the programme for AgustaWestland to assume ownership and management over the programme going forward,” said Bruno Spagnolini, CEO of AgustaWestland. “We consider the tiltrotor concept as the answer to the growing need for an aircraft matching the vertical capabilities of helicopter with the speed, range and altitude capabilities of fixed wing aircraft. AgustaWestland is investing in the next generation of rotorcraft technologies and the AW609 and future tiltrotor concepts are part of our innovation commitment.”

“We expect significant worldwide market opportunities for the AW609, both for commercial and government applications,” added Spagnolini. “In particular, the business and sales model case for the AW609 fits consistently with the AgustaWestland extensive, modern product range of dual use aircraft.”

Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, will remain involved in the design and certification of AW609 components for which it will be the supplier when the aircraft reaches the production phase.

The AW609 is designed to meet the most stringent Transport Category specific standards in both FAA and EASA certification environments. This makes the AW609 tiltrotor a viable aircraft for all “Commercial Off-the-Shelf” possibilities in government roles, in addition to the many commercial applications represented by customers in the order backlog. AgustaWestland is committed to serving both government and non-government customers worldwide as appropriate for AW609 applications.

AW609 aircraft #1 will be based in Arlington to proceed with the flight test programme. AW609 #2 will be based at AgustaWestland’s Cascina Costa facility. Two more aircraft, #3 and #4, will be assembled at Cascina Costa with aircraft #3 being used for icing certification testing. FAA/EASA certification is planned in 2015 with deliveries following immediately afterwards.
Source:
http://www.agustawestland.com/news/agustawestland-takes-full-ownership-ba609-programme
 

F-14D

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Triton said:
Agusta Westland has bought out Bell in the BA609 project and it has been renamed the AugustaWestland AW609.

Personally, I think this is good news, because maybe now the project will get the support it deserves.
 

RobertWL

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I'm still not exactly sure, but what's the deal with Bell on this project? After all the years of development and tests, they just seemed to bail out on it over the last couple years? I remember when they started test flights over Arlington before I left Texas, fine looking aircraft imo.

Though, I've heard Bell has a few WTF ish issues going on.
 

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Given the differences in scale and working conditions, looks like it has all the Osprey's advantages with few of the down-sides...


Be interesting watching the battle between this and the helo-derived X2/X3/X4 designs...
 

yasotay

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With all the work on V-22 I suspect the TR team had little time for the 609. I think the marketeers decided there was not as much of a market as originally thought. Textron is not the most progressive or risk willing of corporations
 

Triton

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During the 1970s and 1980s, Bell Helicopter seemed to be enthusiastic about civilian tilt-rotors. It seems like the end of an era now that Bell has sold its stake in the Bell/Agusta Aerospace Company (BAAC) and the company no longer seems interested in pursuing the civil market.
 

GeorgeA

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The Aviation Week article discussed a change at the CEO level and apparently the new guy is a former Army aviator who sees the company's future as a military supplier with a vast cash cow in spares and support for the older civilian line. New civilian platforms, not so much.
 

F-14D

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I suspect we are seeing the end result of a number of factors here.

One was that during the dark days of V-22 development, there was a decision to concentrate on it and slip the 609 to the right, because it's actually a simpler aircraft.

Another was the question of its size. It was planned that transport to/from offshore oil rigs would be a big market. Given the hostility of the Administration to that function, they might now think the market wasn't going to develop as fast as they hoped, at least in the US. Also, there is a question of its size. The 609 is twice as fast as other current helicopters performing this role, but some of them carry twice as many passengers, so while the 609 can get out there twice as fast, it has to make twice the number of trips.

It is ideally sized for corporate transport, but there's always the problem of the FAA. Just like conventional helicopters, for it to really shine the FAA has to make it easy for it to operate from places other than airports. Also, FAA has never understood how to fit helicopters into the air traffic system, and now you have one that can do 270 knots?

One of the biggest things going on, though, is that Bell has gone through an extended period of less than sterling management. In an effort to resolve this situation, earlier in the decade they reached outside Textron for senior management. I'm sorry I don't remember the name, but one of the people they hired earlier this decade for a senior was an ex-Sikorsky guy who openly simply didn't like Tilt-Rotor. When we heard about that, a lot of us opined that for the 609 to really move forward, someone other than Bell would have to take over control.
 

Triton

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Thank you for the information, F-14D. Would the AW609 be more expensive to maintain than a conventional helicopter or business jet?
 

F-14D

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Triton said:
Thank you for the information, F-14D. Would the AW609 be more expensive to maintain than a conventional helicopter or business jet?

Less expensive than a helo, more expensive than a turboprop. Versus a jet, generally speaking it's more complex but burns less fuel, so take your pick. A lot depends on the mission and whether there are sufficient runways real close to your departure point and destination. If there are, the turboprop wins every time, but then that's true of any helo vs. CTOL comparison.
 

Stargazer2006

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How sad that Bell, the leading proponent of tilt-rotor technology for 60 years, from the XV-3 in 1954 to the Eagle Eye, through the XV-15, the Osprey and a multitude of advanced projects that kept refining the concept further, has finally surrendered the sole viable civilian tilt-rotor project to another group. How sad when a company that has always split its activity evenly between civil and military markets, has to surrender such a potentially lucrative civilian market and restrict their involvement to the military...

Just a thought: supposing the AW609 becomes successful in Europe... what US company will market it? Bell Textron, or a whole different one? The irony would be that a product which is largely Bell's brainchild could end up with a whole different identity.
 

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Would it be powerful enough in hover for a civilian Search & Rescue role ?? It certainly has the 'legs' to stay within the 'Golden Hour'...
 

F-14D

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Stargazer2006 said:
How sad that Bell, the leading proponent of tilt-rotor technology for 60 years, from the XV-3 in 1954 to the Eagle Eye, through the XV-15, the Osprey and a multitude of advanced projects that kept refining the concept further, has finally surrendered the sole viable civilian tilt-rotor project to another group. How sad when a company that has always split its activity evenly between civil and military markets, has to surrender such a potentially lucrative civilian market and restrict their involvement to the military...

Just a thought: supposing the AW609 becomes successful in Europe... what US company will market it? Bell Textron, or a whole different one? The irony would be that a product which is largely Bell's brainchild could end up with a whole different identity.

On the first part, it's not that it had to, it's that it chose to. They are still proposing Tilt-Rotor for whatever follows Joint Heavy Lift, unless USAF kills that.

Marketing wise, it could be marketed by Bell, or Agusta Westland's own marketing apparatus, which is quite extensive.
 

F-14D

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Nik said:
Would it be powerful enough in hover for a civilian Search & Rescue role ?? It certainly has the 'legs' to stay within the 'Golden Hour'...

Yes, that was one of the original design drivers as there was expected to be a decent sub-market there. In fact, that's the reason the cabin door (replaced by a sliding door in the SAR version) is on the starboard side instead of the traditional portside location for civil aircraft.

As with everything, there are tradeoffs. If you're only going to have to transit a short distance or so to make the rescue and then to a medical facility , you're better off with a conventional helo. As transit distances get longer, or a larger area needs to be searched, then the Tilt-Rotor starts showing its advantages.


 

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F-14D

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AgustaWestland is apparently wasting no time. Although right now they're using recycled Bell info, clearly they want to move out on this and get their identity out there.

They have a web page for the AW609 at http://www.agustawestland.com/product/aw609.

It does show the rescue configuration, BTW
 

Triton

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F-14D said:
AgustaWestland is apparently wasting no time. Although right now they're using recycled Bell info, clearly they want to move out on this and get their identity out there.

They have a web page for the AW609 at http://www.agustawestland.com/product/aw609.

It does show the rescue configuration, BTW

Interesting that the web site is not touting the civilian utility of the AgustaWestland AW609.

Applications

» COAST GUARD
The Performance characteristics of the AW609 offer coast guards capabilities and cost-effectiveness simply not available in any other single aircraft. The AW609 offers coast guard operators highly cost-effective and time efficient point-to-point transportation at speeds up to 275 knots and ranges up to 700 nm.

» MILITARY SUPPORT
The AW609 as a multi-mission tiltrotor aircraft has the ability to rapidly deploy personnel from and to confined areas offering a unique capability reducing a typical helicopter mission by up to 44 percent. In the Military Support role the AW609 can be employed in such activities as surveillance, SAR, MEDEVAC or personnel transport.

» SAR
The AW609 is a multi-mission tiltrotor aircraft designed to employ the speed of a turboprop airplane with the vertical takeoff and landing capability of a helicopter offering unique capabilities to SAR operators. For SAR and EMS operations, the AW609 offers basket, litter and a 600 lb capacity exterior hoist option.

» MILITARY UTILITY
The AW609 offers speed, range, all weather capability and comfort making it an ideal utility aircraft combining turboprop and helicopter capabilities. Designed from the outset for low maintenance and maximum operational flexibility, the tiltrotor will offer operators cost-effective, point-to-point transportation at cruise speeds up to 275 knots and at ranges up to 700 nautical miles.
 

F-14D

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Triton said:
F-14D said:
AgustaWestland is apparently wasting no time. Although right now they're using recycled Bell info, clearly they want to move out on this and get their identity out there.

They have a web page for the AW609 at http://www.agustawestland.com/product/aw609.

It does show the rescue configuration, BTW

Interesting that the web site is not touting the civilian utility of the AugustaWestland AW609.

Applications

» COAST GUARD
The Performance characteristics of the AW609 offer coast guards capabilities and cost-effectiveness simply not available in any other single aircraft. The AW609 offers coast guard operators highly cost-effective and time efficient point-to-point transportation at speeds up to 275 knots and ranges up to 700 nm.

» MILITARY SUPPORT
The AW609 as a multi-mission tiltrotor aircraft has the ability to rapidly deploy personnel from and to confined areas offering a unique capability reducing a typical helicopter mission by up to 44 percent. In the Military Support role the AW609 can be employed in such activities as surveillance, SAR, MEDEVAC or personnel transport.

» SAR
The AW609 is a multi-mission tiltrotor aircraft designed to employ the speed of a turboprop airplane with the vertical takeoff and landing capability of a helicopter offering unique capabilities to SAR operators. For SAR and EMS operations, the AW609 offers basket, litter and a 600 lb capacity exterior hoist option.

» MILITARY UTILITY
The AW609 offers speed, range, all weather capability and comfort making it an ideal utility aircraft combining turboprop and helicopter capabilities. Designed from the outset for low maintenance and maximum operational flexibility, the tiltrotor will offer operators cost-effective, point-to-point transportation at cruise speeds up to 275 knots and at ranges up to 700 nautical miles.

Look further, civil stuff is there. I imagine they'll flesh it out as it grows, but there is stuff there on civil uses including club seating for nine.
 

F-14D

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Stargazer2006 said:
Thanks for the link. Here are links to the two PDF brochures from that site (you will remark that the aircraft is still called the "BA609" on these...):

BA609

BA609 Government Support Role

Yeah, they're still using recycled Bell Augusta info (note the date of the brochures), I expect that will change. One thing that may be lost is that, although they had no money the USMC was hinting a few years back that once they had money they'd certainly be interested in an attack vehicle derived from the 609 architecture. I suspect AgustaWestland may not be that interested in that.
 

Triton

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F-14D said:
Look further, civil stuff is there. I imagine they'll flesh it out as it grows, but there is stuff there on civil uses including club seating for nine.

I was referring to the rebranded website and not the older PDF format sales brochure from the now defunct Bell/Agusta Aerospace Company for the BA609. At this time, it seems that AgustaWestland is promoting the AW609 in a government support role. It will be interesting to see what happens with the aircraft now that is in the hands of AgustaWestland. Hopefully you are correct and AgustaWestland will add information about civilian configurations to the web site and the civil configurations are present when the marketing brochures are revised.
 

F-14D

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Triton said:
F-14D said:
Look further, civil stuff is there. I imagine they'll flesh it out as it grows, but there is stuff there on civil uses including club seating for nine.

I was referring to the rebranded website and not the older PDF format sales brochure from the now defunct Bell/Agusta Aerospace Company for the BA609. At this time, it seems that AugustaWestland is promoting the AW609 in a government support role. It will be interesting to see what happens with the aircraft now that is in the hands of AugustaWestland. Hopefully you are correct and AugustaWestland will add information about civilian configurations to the web site and the civil configurations are present when the marketing brochures are revised.

Give 'em time! They just got control seven days ago. Right now they seem to be just getting the word out, "It's mine now". As they refine where they want to go with it (probably updated avionics for one), we'll no doubt see more.

Kinda sad about the attack version, though, would've liked to see that...
 

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Augusta already had a mock up of the 609 fuselage fitted for the SAR mission. I have no doubt that in the near future AW will have all sorts of options for the AW-609 dynamics. F-14D is right, give them time.
 

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Please everyone note that the name is "AGUSTA", not AUGUSTA. I had a mod modify the mistake throughout the page, so it would be cool if you can remember to spell it well!
 

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The 609's a lot easier than the V-22. No wing and blade folding, much less torque in the transmission (less power + higher rpm), lower disk loading, and not affected by the compromise over rotor diameter.

If they can get the price right I can see a lot of very rich people using it for driveway-to-golf-course transportation. Also, not a bad option for people worried about getting shot between the official residence and the airport.
 

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LowObservable said:
The 609's a lot easier than the V-22. No wing and blade folding, much less torque in the transmission (less power + higher rpm), lower disk loading, and not affected by the compromise over rotor diameter.

If they can get the price right I can see a lot of very rich people using it for driveway-to-golf-course transportation. Also, not a bad option for people worried about getting shot between the official residence and the airport.

Actually, with a range of 700nm, there will be a lot of business trips will be made without ever going to the airport. Even with refueling stops, it'll be a lot faster than the airlines for a substantial distance. It'll also be faster in many cases than business jets for a significant number of trips provided regulations allow safe door-to-door operations.

Then again, whoever's in Washington at the time may decide to dump on business aviation again to score class warfare points. :'(
 

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750 nm is no-reserves, but a 500nm, 2-hour trip, door-to-door at airplane altitudes is not to be sneezed at.
 

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LowObservable said:
750 nm is no-reserves, but a 500nm, 2-hour trip, door-to-door at airplane altitudes is not to be sneezed at.


The range with reserves should be closer to no reserve range because, if the FAA is reasonable, it should not be required to carry the reserves that a CTOL does.
 

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AgustaWestland completes transaction of AW609 tiltrotor
by: Kate Sarsfield (London)

Source:
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/agustawestland-completes-transaction-of-aw609-tiltrotor-365386/

AgustaWestland has completed its acquisition from Bell of the 609 tiltrotor programme and is gearing up to bring the much delayed civilian aircraft - now dubbed the AW609 - to market in early 2016.

"All legal and regulatory approvals have now been successfully completed," said the Finmeccanica-owned company.

Along with the two flying AW609 prototypes, the deal includes all assets and drawings from Bell, but no intellectual property related to the military's Bell-Boeing V22 tiltrotor, on which the 609 is based.

"The development of the AW609 tiltrotor programme is now moving forward under full AgustaWestland control, with civil certification expected in late 2015-early 2016 and deliveries following immediately afterwards," said AgustaWestland.

The Bell/Agusta Aerospace Company brand will be renamed but remain a US company as it is the new type certificate applicant to the Federal Aviation Administration. The AW609 programme will be managed by an integrated development team, based at AgustaWestland's headquarters in Cascina Costa, Italy, but a new base will also be established in Arlington, Texas to manage US-based tiltrotor operations.

The first two 609 prototypes have achieved more than 600 flight hours so far, and have validated the aircraft's flight envelope - including the ability to fly at altitudes of up to 25,000ft (7,600m)and cruise speeds up to 275kt (510km/h) at the aircraft's maximum weight.

The third prototype - now being manufactured in Italy - will be devoted to icing certification testing when it enters service next year, while the fourth prototype will be used for the development and integration of the new avionics systems.

AgustaWestland is seeking to approve the AW609 for short take-off and landing (STOL) procedures, to allow operations at increased maximum gross weights. This, it said will enhance the AW609's operational capability and help to widen its customer base.

To date, the Anglo-Italian company has only chalked up about 70 orders for the AW609s from 40 customers worldwide, but is confident the aircraft will attract significant interest.

"The tiltrotor concept is the answer to the growing need for an aircraft matching the vertical capabilities of the helicopter, with the speed, range and altitude capabilities of fixed-wing aircraft," said the airframer.

"The AW609 provides customers with a new way to fly, and AgustaWestland expects significant worldwide opportunities as there is no aircraft on the market that can come close to offering a similar capability."
 

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Almost sixty years of tilt-rotor research at Bell to end up like this, this must be quite a blow to all the folks who worked on the D-300, D-326 Clipper and all the numerous civil tilt-rotor projects that Bell made us dream about for decades... Well, I'm no financier and no market expert, but the way I see it, the 609 could have been a guarantee for Bell that whatever the outcome of the military contracts for the V-22 line or other improbable derivatives such as the QTR, there was still a prospect of getting their money's return on the civil market. Now that the civil option is in the hands of Agusta and Westland, and that Bell apparently relinquished all prospects of civil tilt-rotor programs, they are left with only the V-22, the financial gains of which may not outweigh the costs. How ironical that if NASA's LCTR2 specification becomes a reality, the company that led the way in tilt-rotor research for half a century may not even take part in the bidding game.
 

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Hopefully the Textron marketeers who predict failure of the 609 will get the same notice as the ones who conned the corporate brains to bow out on a little Agusta-Bell project called the AB-139.
 

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LowObservable said:
The 609's a lot easier than the V-22. No wing and blade folding, much less torque in the transmission (less power + higher rpm), lower disk loading, and not affected by the compromise over rotor diameter.

There were proposals to produce a sort of "V-15A" based off the XV-15 prototype test bed way back when. Basically, aim for UH-60 troop/payload capacity, instead of CH-46 troop capacity/payload.

Also, if there's no wing/blade folding, much less power going through the transmission, etc etc; then it's easy enough in cost/weight to beef up the components likely to fail/be in need of repair to be more maintainable/repairable; resulting in a much more reliable and easier to maintain aircraft than the V-22.
 

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yasotay said:
Hopefully the Textron marketeers who predict failure of the 609 will get the same notice as the ones who conned the corporate brains to bow out on a little Agusta-Bell project called the AB-139.

Are you saying that there is some risk aversion over at Bell Helicopter in investing in new helicopter designs?
 

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Triton said:
yasotay said:
Hopefully the Textron marketeers who predict failure of the 609 will get the same notice as the ones who conned the corporate brains to bow out on a little Agusta-Bell project called the AB-139.

Are you saying that there is some risk aversion over at Bell Helicopter in investing in new helicopter designs?
Well I don't know if it is at Bell or at Textron, but when you have marketeers saying "its too small" at Bell and marketeers at AW saying "they will sell like hot cakes" and given the 139 seems to be doing well... have to wonder.
Sikorsky has X-2, Eurocopter has X-3, Bell having washed their hands of 609 has what for the upcoming competition?
Yes, I think the leadership at Bell has cold feet and have stepped back from the risk that Larry Bell built an aviation empire on.
 

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RyanCrierie said:
There were proposals to produce a sort of "V-15A" based off the XV-15 prototype test bed way back when. Basically, aim for UH-60 troop/payload capacity, instead of CH-46 troop capacity/payload.

Alenia is already working on something similar.
 

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Bell Agusta BA-609 sales brochure.

Sources:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Used-Rare-Bell-Agusta-BA609-Tilt-Rotor-Brochure-/121017739787?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c2d382a0b
 

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Bell Boeing 609 sales brochure found on eBay.

Source:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Used-Rare-Bell-Agusta-BA609-Tilt-Rotor-The-Next-Generation-In-Aviation-Brochure-/150945222121?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2325094de9
 

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