Lockheed Martin's VH-92A has started its
250-hour flight test program.
The aircraft conducted its first two flights on
28 July. The total flight time for the two sorties was one hour
and included hover control checks, low speed flight, and a pass of
The aircraft is part of the U.S.
Marine Corps’ VH-92A Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program.
“This first flight of the VH-92A configured test
aircraft is an important milestone for the program,” said Spencer
Elani, director VH-92A program at Sikorsky. “Having independently
tested the aircraft’s components and subsystems, we are now moving
forward to begin full aircraft system qualification via the flight
As the flight test program proceeds, the
test aircraft (Engineering Development Model 1, or EDM-1) will be
joined by an additional test aircraft (EDM-2) over the course of
the 12-month flight test program. EDM-2 is on track for its first
flight later this year.
The VH-92A aircraft is based on
Sikorsky’s successful and FAA-certified S-92A commercial aircraft,
which recently surpassed one million flight hours. The S-92A
aircraft, assembled in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, is being
modified to include integration of government-defined missions
systems and an executive interior.
“With this successful
first flight on the books, we look forward to completion of
Sikorsky’s flight test program, operational testing and production
of this aircraft to support the Office of the President of the
United States,” said U.S. Marine Corps Col. Robert Pridgen,
program manager for the Naval Air System Command’s Presidential
Helicopter’s Program Office.
The U.S. Navy awarded a $1.24
billion fixed-price incentive Engineering and Manufacturing
Development (EMD) contract with production options to Sikorsky on
7 May 2014. The EMD contract will produce a total of six
aircraft: two test aircraft and four production aircraft. The
production options for the remaining 17 aircraft will be finalized
The VH-92A will enter into service in 2020 and
will be used to transport the President and Vice President of the
Lockheed Martin purchased Sikorsky for close to
$9 billion in November 2015.
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