First Flight of the Rolls-Royce Turboméca RTM322-powered Boeing AH-64 Apache is set for 1 June, say programme officials, who are now 50% through initial ground tests with the Anglo-French engine. The powerplant was selected over the incumbent General Electric T700-701C after a competitive evaluation by the UK Ministry of Defence which has ordered 67 helicopters designated as WAH-64s. The first WAH-64 fuselage arrived at Boeing's Mesa, Arizona, site in April and will be handed over to GKN Westland in September. Boeing will build eight aircraft and partially assemble the remaining 59 at Mesa, before shipping them to Yeovil in the UK, where GKN Westland will perform final assembly, flight testing, delivery and support. Flight testing will continue through to June 1999 with production engine qualification due in September 1999 before first deliveries to the British Army in March 2000.

Source: Flight International