author Pascale Fleury
Eurocopter’s first NH90 TTH tactical transport helicopter for France performs its maiden flight
The first NH90 in the tactical transport helicopter configuration for France made its maiden flight today at Eurocopter’s Marignane, France facility. During a one-hour mission, the NH 90 TTH carried out dynamic systems checks followed by handling qualities evaluations and initial avionics tests, followed by the rotary-wing aircraft’s departure to the Official French Flight Test Center in Istres for the continuation of flight testing.
As a basis configured for day and night tactical transport operations in all environments, the French NH90 TTH is an 11-metric ton helicopter tailored for missions that include search and rescue, personnel recovery and casualty evacuation. The NH90 TTH will progressively replace the French Army Aviation’s (ALAT) legacy fleet of Puma and Super Puma helicopters in their primary roles. The NH90 TTH shares a high degree of commonality with the NH90 NFH naval version already deployed within the French Navy including some logistics and support aspects.
France has ordered a total of 34 NH90 TTHs, with the first helicopter in this configuration to be received by the ALAT in late 2011.
“The first flight of an NH90 TTH for France marks another important milestone for our French customer after the introduction of the NH90 in Naval version to French Navy in 2010,” said Dominique Maudet, Eurocopter’s Executive Vice President for Governmental Programs. “Since the startup of NH90 deliveries in 2006, a total of 68 helicopters have been provided to 8 customers in Europe and overseas from 5 assembly lines.”
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 xnetwork 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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