First VH-71 presidential helicopter enters final production

Washington DC
Source: Flightglobal.com
This story is sourced from Flightglobal.com

The first of 28 AgustaWestland-built VH-71 presidential helicopters has arrived at Lockheed Martin’s integration and final production facility in Owego, New York.

There the company will integrate mission systems, outfit the cabin interior and paint the presidential livery on the three-engine medium-lift helicopter, a variant of the AW101, before performing final flight testing.

Deliveries to the US Navy and later to Marine Helicopter Squadron One will come in two phases: Five helicopters in the pilot production batch will be followed by 23 in a second phase.

Four additional VH-71s are being used for flight testing: Two are in Owego having mission systems installed while the second pair is continuing flight testing at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland.

Production aircraft PP-1 is undergoing conducting ground vibration testing, after which it will also be flown to Owego for integration and completion.

Lockheed Martin Systems Integration-Owego is the prime contractor and systems integrator for the VH-71 program and has overall responsibility for the program and aircraft systems. Principal subcontractor, AgustaWestland, is responsible for the basic air vehicle design, production build, and basic air vehicle support functions.