Sat, Nov 28, 2009
"A Very Important Milestone" For The AW159-Based Aircraft
The first of 62 Wildcat helicopters which have been ordered
for the Royal Navy and Army has successfully undertaken its first
test flight at AgustaWestland's Yeovil plant in Somerset.
With AgustaWestland's Chief Test Pilot, Don Maclaine, at the
controls, the aircraft undertook a short flight to assess handling
characteristics and performed well.
The Wildcat represents a considerable advance over its
well-established predecessor, Lynx, benefiting from simpler and
more robust airframe construction, fully integrated avionics and
glass cockpit, and upgraded engines. Improved reliability and
reduced maintenance time will be amongst the many benefits.
"This is without doubt a very important milestone," said Stewart
Deakin, Wildcat Program Manager in MOD's Defence Equipment &
Support. "This date was set at contract award in June 2006 and it
is to AgustaWestland and the Lynx project team's credit to have
delivered it on time. This has been facilitated by much joint
working between the two teams under the Strategic Partnering
Arrangement between the MOD and AgustaWestland, dealing with any
issues together in a timely fashion."
Wildcat First Flight
Deliveries of the Wildcat, also known as the AW159, are set to
begin in 2011, with the aircraft entering service with the Army in
2014 and the Royal Navy the following year. Its wide range of tasks
will include reconnaissance, transport of troops and equipment,
force protection and support of amphibious operations.
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