2/28/2008 - NAVAIR PATUXENT RIVER, MD -- Test Vehicle
3, the third helicopter built for the VH-71
Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program, made its
initial flight Feb. 27 in Yeovil, England marking the
fourth helicopter to enter flight test.
TV-3 is due to arrive at the Presidential Helicopter
Support Facility here on Mar. 17 and will then travel
to Lockheed Martin Systems Integration in Owego, N.Y.
for final assembly and mission systems integration.
TV-3 will be the first vehicle tested that is
outfitted with mission systems.
Once missionized TV-3 will join the other three test
vehicles, TV-1, TV-2 and TV-5 already in flight
testing that have accumulated more than 650 total
hours of flight test.
As a missionized aircraft, TV-3 will be able to
validate in-flight data, which has previously only
been evaluated in laboratories. One additional test
vehicle is scheduled for flight testing and
missionization after TV-3 before the initial lot of
production aircraft are delivered to Patuxent River.
With fuel system testing already complete, VH-71
flight test officials are currently concentrating on
satellite communications and high-powered FM Radio
testing with tail rotor and flight load survey testing
on the horizon.
In addition to forward movement on flight testing of
Increment 1 test vehicles, which currently meet or
exceed all key performance parameters, a parallel and
concurrent effort supporting the flight test program
is the Systems Integration Lab currently operational
at the Presidential Helicopter Support Facility.
The SIL consists of test benches used to evaluate
individual subsystems currently in development. A
larger SIL facility at Lockheed Martin Systems
Integration in Owego, NY includes a master systems
bench -- a full-scale functional mockup of the VH-71
cockpit and cabin. The systems integration
laboratories allow VH-71 program engineers to test
VH-71 avionics and mission systems prior to
installation aboard the aircraft.
Source: USN/NavAir Press Release