author Pascale Fleury
Eurocopter’s first NH90 TTH tactical transport helicopter for Spain performs its maiden flight
Eurocopter conducted the first flight of Spain’s NH90 TTH tactical transport helicopter today, sustaining the development pace for this multinational rotary-wing program. The one-hour mission was performed at Eurocopter’s Marignane facility in France.
A multidisciplinary team from Eurocopter España contributed to this Spanish NH90 program milestone, which involved the first NH90 equipped with GE CT7-8F5 engines. Following today’s flight, the helicopter will be transferred to Eurocopter’s Albacete, Spain facility in 2011 to continue with development flight tests leading to its full qualification by the Spanish Ministry of Defense. Deliveries of NH90 TTHs for the Spanish Armed Forces are scheduled to begin in 2012.
The first two Spanish NH90s were built by Eurocopter in its Marignane facility, while assembly of the remaining 43 has begun in Spain following the establishment of a final assembly line at Albacete in September.
The 11-metric ton NH90 TTH is tailored for tactical missions that include search and rescue, personnel recovery and casualty evacuation, with the capability to operate day and night in all environments. As the most modern helicopter in its class, the twin-engine, medium-sized NH90 features a high level of system integration built around a dual-bus core avionics system, a full glass cockpit with multifunction displays, and fly-by-wire controls with 4-axis automatic flight control.
The NH90 program is managed by NHIndustries, a consortium owned by AgustaWestland (32%), Eurocopter (62.5%), and Fokker Aerostructures (5.5%). Firm orders for all NH90 versions have reached 529 helicopters for 19 armed forces of 14 different nations: France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Greece, Oman, Australia, New Zealand, Spain and Belgium.
Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a Division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defence and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approx. 15,600 people. In 2009, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer in the civil and parapublic market, with a turnover of 4.6 billion Euros, orders for 344 new helicopters, and a 52 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group’s products account for 30 percent of the total world helicopter fleet. Its strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 25 subsidiaries and participations on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centres. More than 10,500 Eurocopter helicopters are currently in service with over 2,800 customers in more than 140 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.
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