First Flight of the Belgian NH90 Helicopter

By on Friday, September 21st, 2012

NHI is proud to announce the first flight of the first NH90 Tactical Transport Helicopter ordered by the Belgian armed forces.

For this first flight performed on Sept 18th from Marignane, the crew tested all the main systems of this new generation aircraft such as the engines and the flight controls.

After landing, the crew expressed its satisfaction with the behaviour of the helicopter.

The Belgian armed forces ordered eight NH90s, four TTHs for tactical transport operations and four NFHs for naval operations.

The Belgian NH90 TTH is a Full Operational Capability standard helicopter. This aircraft is very close to the French NH90 Caiman TTH for which deliveries started in the end of 2011 in Full Operational Capability Standard. This commonality brings to the Belgian customer all the return of experience collected during the development of the French NH90 TTH.

“This first flight is an important milestone for NHI since it marks the arrival of a new comer in the NH90 users community, we are all impressed by the degree of maturity demonstrated by this helicopter” declared Xavier Poupardin delegated managing director of NHI.

The NH90 TTH (Tactical Transport Helicopter) variant is a helicopter of 11 ton class primarily configured to perform tactical transport missions in all environments by day and night. The NH90 TTH flexibility allows its users to perform additional missions such as internal/external load transport, Heliborne Operations, Special Operations, Search and Rescue, Casualties Evacuation and Training missions.

The NH90 TTH is the most modern helicopter of its class available on the market. It features a high level of system integration built around a dual bus Core Avionic System, full glass cockpit with Multifunction Displays, Fly-by-wire controls with 4-axis Automatic Flight Control System.

The dedicated Mission System includes among others: Piloting Forward Looking Infrared system, Helmet Mounted Sight and Display, Electronic Warfare System, Tactical Control and Tactical Communication System, Weather Radar, Digital Map Generator and an on-board Monitoring and Diagnostic System. It features a fully composite crashworthy fuselage fitted with a rear ramp which allows the transport of a light tactical vehicle.

The two Rolls-Royce/Turbomeca RTM322 modern engines provide power reserve in all environments. The NH90 helicopter has provision for a number of role equipment to enable mission flexibility and effectiveness coupled with a high level of safety and survivability.

The twin-engine, medium-size NH90 helicopter program is managed by the consortium NHIndustries, the Company owned by AgustaWestland (32%), Eurocopter (62.5%), and Stork Fokker (5.5%).

The NH90 helicopter programme is the largest ever launched in Europe, with firm orders now reaching 529 units for 19 Armed Forces of 14 Nations: France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Greece, Oman, Australia, New-Zealand, Spain and Belgium.

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