Eurocopter, May 09, 2007 - Marignane, France - Eurocopter continues its schedule of milestones in the NH90 program and has successfully performed the maiden flight of the first NH90 Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH) for the Sultanate of Oman at its Marignane facility on May 9th.
This maiden flight of TOMF001 (Manufacturer Serial Number) lasted 1 hour and 20 minutes and was under the command of Eurocopter’s Test Pilot, Philippe Boutry. Reporting total satisfaction with the flight, he said: “We flew to an altitude of up to 4,000 ft and at maximum speed, and all of the aircraft’s main systems operated in accord with our expectations.
The contract between the Sultanate of Oman and NHIndustries was signed in July 2004 and provides for the delivery of 20 multi-purpose NH90 TTHs with an enhanced power plant perfectly adapted to the extreme flight conditions of this region in the Middle East. The aircraft will be operated by the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) in tactical transport, search and rescue and other military missions in all terrains.
The contract also foresees a comprehensive support package and services with a contractor’s field assistance on several bases, training aids and mission preparation stations. The helicopters are scheduled to progressively enter into service in the country as of 2008.
The selection by RAFO of the NH90, the only military helicopter in its class equipped with a flyby- wire system guaranteeing first-rate flight characteristics, will give the Sultanate of Oman unrivalled capabilities in helicopter operations for the coming decades.
Total orders for the NH90 presently amount to 453 aircraft. Fourteen nations have chosen the NH90 for their armed forces. They are: France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Portugal, Greece, Spain, Sultanate of Oman, Australia, New Zealand and Belgium.
Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a Division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defence and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approx. 14,000 people. In 2006, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer with a turnover of 3.8 billion euros, orders for 615 new helicopters, and a 52% percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group’s products account for 30% percent of the total world helicopter fleet. Its strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 17 subsidiaries on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centres. More than 9,800 Eurocopter helicopters are currently in service with over 2,500 customers in 140 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.