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