By Staff Writer | May 1, 2008
The third VH-71 built for the U.S. presidential helicopter program is undergoing final assembly and mission-systems integration to enable it to be used as a command-and-control platform by the White House, according to Lockheed Martin.
The Lockheed Martin-AgustaWestland industry team began installing and integrating Test Vehicle 3 (TV-3) with the advanced mission systems after the aircraft arrived in the United States via a U.S. Air Force C-17 cargo plane from AgustaWestland’s facility in Yeovil, England. After a stopover at NAS Patuxent River, Md., TV-3 was flown to Lockheed Martin Systems Integration in Owego, N.Y. for final assembly.
As a missionized aircraft, TV-3 should be able to validate systems in-flight performance, which Lockheed Martin said has previously only been evaluated in laboratories. Once missionized, TV-3 will join the other two test vehicles, TV-2 and TV-5, already in flight testing, the company reported.