Fri, Nov 28, 2008
Presidential Helo Moves Closer To EOS
Lockheed Martin recently attained
full function capability in all the systems integration
laboratories that support the VH-71 presidential helicopter
program, after completing the Master Systems Bench (MSB) located at
Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD.
The NAS Patuxent River MSB, part of the Systems Integration
Laboratory, contains all of the aircraft avionic systems installed
in a full-scale VH-71A cockpit and rear cabin, with out-the-window
visual displays and aircraft simulation allowing full mission
scenarios to be "flown" while on the ground. This enables the
flight test pilots and engineers to conduct valuable training,
perform system analysis and debug problems on the ground.
"Having a fully capable laboratory at the Navy's Presidential
Helicopter Support Facility is a huge plus in optimizing flight
test time," said Jeff Bantle, Lockheed Martin vice president and
general manager of the VH-71 program. "Ground testing provides a
big cost and time savings for the program, because it reserves air
time and fuel for airworthiness tests and certifications."
The aircraft-like MSB complements the avionics-based Systems
Integration Bench at the same location completed in February. An
identical Systems Integration Laboratory at Lockheed Martin in
Owego, NY, allows avionics engineers there to develop and test the
next version of software used in the helicopter's mission and
The advanced communications system of the presidential
communications suite allows secure and non-secure communications
between the helicopter and personnel at locations such as the White
House, the Pentagon and other ground and mobile platforms.
Lockheed Martin Systems Integration-Owego is the prime
contractor and systems integrator for the VH-71 program with
overall responsibility for the program and aircraft system.
AgustaWestland, the principal subcontractor to Lockheed Martin, has
responsibility for the basic air vehicle design, production build,
and basic air vehicle support functions. More than 200 suppliers in
41 states support the VH-71 program.
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