Sikorsky Presidential Helicopter Replacement Takes Maiden Flight

By Dan Parsons | August 4, 2017
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official-rendering VH-92A

Image: U.S. Naval Air Systems Command

The Sikorsky VH-92A has completed its first flight, Lockheed Martin said. The configured test aircraft is part of the Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program.

“This first flight of the VH-92A configured test aircraft is an important milestone for the program,” said Spencer Elani, director of the VH-92A program at Sikorsky. “Having independently tested the aircraft’s components and subsystems, we are now moving forward to begin full aircraft system qualification via the flight test program.”

After completing its first flight, the VH-92A completed a second flight, Lockheed Martin said, in Stratford, Connecticut. Total flight time was one hour. They included hover-control checks, low-speed flight and a pass of the airfield, according to the manufacturer.

Now the 250-hour flight test program can commence. This will take place at Lockheed Martin facilities in Owego, New York. It is planned that Engineering Development Model 1 (EDM-1) will be joined by EDM-2. The second test aircraft is currently on track to taking its maiden flight later this year, Lockheed Martin said.

The VH-92A contract was awarded in 2014, worth $1.24 billion. Sikorsky is to deliver two test aircraft and four production aircraft. There are also options for 17 aircraft, which is set to be finalized in fiscal year 2019. The VH-92A is expected to enter service in 2020.

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