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Friday June 15, 2001

Super Lynx 300 Demonstrator makes maiden flight in the UK

Yeovil, UK ( GKN-Westland Press Release ) - A significant milestone was achieved on June 12th 2001 when the Super Lynx 300 Demonstrator, fitted with LHTEC CTS800-4N engines, undertook a successful maiden flight from Westland's Yeovil airfield.

Captained by Westland test pilot Ted Mustard, with flight test engineers David McCullum and John Doherty on board, the aircraft flew a standard initial test schedule comprising aircraft system checks and aircraft/engine handling. These included forward flight to 55 knots and single engine hovers.

Speaking after the flight, Ted Mustard said: "This maiden flight confirms the compatibility of the new production standard LHTEC engines with the existing airframe and transmission system. The aircraft was close to normal maximum all-up weight and hovered impressively on one engine. The CTS800 engine delivers a great deal more power than the existing engine and the gearbox easily absorbed the corresponding increased torque levels."

Alan Ladd, Lynx Programme Director, said the maiden flight marked a new chapter in the future evolution of the Lynx success story. "Over 120 Super Lynx aircraft have been ordered by seven customers around the world and Lynx continues to be seen by operators as the best aircraft in its class. We have kept the aircraft in step with users' changing requirements and the investment placed in the Super Lynx 300 programme emphasises AgustaWestland's commitment to maintain the lead position of Lynx in world markets."

In 1998, Westland Helicopters launched the Super Lynx 300 programme representing a new generation of the Lynx. As part of its commitment to this company funded programme, Westland built a demonstrator aircraft to assist in the remaining development and testing. Super Lynx 300 incorporates an all new integrated glass cockpit and the more powerful CTS800-4N engines jointly developed by Rolls-Royce and Honeywell. The T800 matches Super Lynx's increased operational demands with a newer, more powerful Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC) controlled engine that delivers low maintenance, enhanced performance and excellent economy.

Re-airframing of existing Navy Lynx is currently providing existing customers with a cost-effective means of extending the service life of their fleet. The first of the Royal Danish Navy's newly upgraded Super Lynx returned to its Vaerlose Air Base on November 1 2000. The aircraft was the first of eight in the fleet to receive an upgrade and life extension contract to Super Lynx standard that was awarded in 1997.

Following the implementation of the completion process to combine Agusta and GKN Westland Helicopters, AgustaWestland became fully operational on February 12 2001.

The completion followed both the agreement drawn up by Finmeccanica SpA of Italy and GKN plc of the UK on July 26 2000 and the subsequent European regulatory approvals. The new Joint Venture company is 50% each owned by Finmeccanica and GKN. AgustaWestland is a single European company trading as Agusta SpA in Italy and as Westland Helicopters Ltd in the UK.

With a combined 2000 revenue of more than $2.2 billion and a civil and defence order book of about $7 billion, AgustaWestland is now a powerful force in the world helicopter industry. It is a leader in a number of the world's most important programmes and has an impressive pipeline of new products and technologies. Strategic partnerships have been forged with other helicopter manufacturers such as Bell, Boeing and NH Industries and these have further strengthened the product range. AgustaWestland can now satisfy a wide range of needs from both civil and military customers with integrated platform systems that encompass all the principal weight categories that can be adapted to a wide range of missions. Such products range from the innovative 2.5 ton light single-engine A119 Koala to the 14 ton three-engine EH101 helicopter.

The new Light Helicopter Turbine Engine Company (LHTEC) T800 is a technically advanced engine with 33% more power than the existing Gem 42-1. It greatly increases Super Lynx twin and single engine performance in high temperature climates, such as in the Middle East and parts of Asia. Despite the increase in power, the CTS800 burns less fuel than the Gem 42-1, thus improving the already impressive range and endurance capabilities of Super Lynx.

The new generation instrument panel incorporates eight colour Active Matrix Liquid Crystal Displays (AMLCDs). The military grade AMLCDs, supplied by Smiths Industries, are optimised for operation in the adverse environmental conditions experienced in naval operations.

The four 63 inch (16 cm) square Integrated Display Units (IDUs) provide flight, navigation and sensor information to the crew. Information can be transferred from one display to another, at the press of a button, allowing the crew to easily share information and increase crew effectiveness.

Two centrally located Electronic Power Systems Instrument (EPSI) displays provide crew with engine and fuel data, as well as oil and hydraulic temperature and pressure information. Data can be switched between displays and reversionary modes provide system redundancy.

Secondary Flight Displays with an independent air data system, power supply and attitude sensor provide the crew with airspeed, altitude, attitude and heading information which offers the crew a full set of standby instruments combined into one display.

Westland Helicopters has taken advantage of the extensive experience gained in the design and development of the Royal Navy EH101 Merlin HM Mk.1 and Lynx HMA Mk.8 cockpits to produce the most advanced cockpit ever seen in an intermediate helicopter.

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