VH-71 Begins U.S. Flight Testing
First two VH-71 Marine One have entered the flight test phase at Naval Air Station Patuxent River
AgustaWestland, January 10, 2008 - Patuxent River, Md, USA - The first two VH-71 helicopters built for the President of the United States have entered the flight test phase with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.
The Navy-owned test vehicles, TV-2 and TV-5, arrived at NAS Patuxent River in November and December, respectively, aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 cargo plane from AgustaWestland’s facility in Yeovil, England. The government and industry integrated test team will use the aircraft primarily for structural and propulsion testing, and pilot training.
TV-2 and TV-5 are the first of four test aircraft built for the initial phase of the VH-71 program known as Increment One.
Two more Increment One aircraft, TV-3 and TV-4, will undergo additional assembly and missionization at Lockheed Martin Systems Integration, Owego, NY prior to being transferred to NAS Patuxent River this year for testing of the avionics and mission systems.
TV-1, an industry-provided test asset, has been in flight test since shortly after the contract award, and currently has 555 flight hours.
Over the next eleven months, all Increment One aircraft will be delivered to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., including the initial fleet of five presidential helicopters.
AgustaWestland VH-71 Kestrel G-17-005 ( AgustaWestland UK )