Helibras, October 14, 2015 - Helibras held last Tuesday the first flight of a Panther (Pantera) helicopter fully modernized by the company in Brazil.
In the presence of the Director of Army Aviation Material (DMAvEx) General Pedro Paulo de Mello Braga and the Army Aviation Commander (AVEX) General Achilles Furlan Neto, the aircraft carried out the tests flight after having gone through all the stages of modernization carried out by Brazilian mechanics and technicians in the maintenance hangar of the company's factory in Itajubá (MG).
This was the third Panther K2 Army who underwent upgrade, but the first whose original structure has been completely modernized, since the first two helicopters received by the Force in 2014 were reconstructed from new airframes. These two completed this month 1,000 flight hours.
To carry out the modernization work, the Helibras maintenance mechanics conducted a training on Airbus Helicopters that enabled them to make major interventions in the Dauphin family aircraft.
The so-called "on the job training" brought to Brazilian professionals master new and important knowledge which allowed the aircraft placed yesterday in flight passed through all the steps in the modernization with teams qualified by the company.
In 2010, in the spirit of partnership between Helibras and the Brazilian Army, two aviation engineers also went through a six months training at the Airbus Helicopters facility in Marignane, France.
In 2016, six military mechanics will remain at Helibras to accompany the modernization of the aircraft and thus achieve customer training "on the job training".
Now the helicopter will go to painting and finishing before being handed over to the army which should occur in the coming months.
The modernization program of 34 Panther helicopters of the Brazilian Army Aviation acquired in 1988 will give the aircraft 25 more years of life.
The modernization has a cost of 35% less than the value of a new helicopter and, after the upgrade, the aircraft will experience an increase of 400 kg in payload capacity operating in restricted areas (compared to the previous model) higher speed (260 km/h to 220 km/h) and range (660 km to 550 km).
New and modern communication systems and avionics are fitted in the upgraded aircraft. The helicopter has been equipped with new wiring, new hood engine, new engine Arriel 2C2CG with 40% more power, and a new glass cockpit panel with four axes autopilot allowing more autonomy, greater speed and reduced workload for pilots.