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AEROSPACE
VH-92A presidential helicopter test bed takes first flight
by Stephen Carlson
Washington (UPI) Aug 4, 2017


Lockheed Martin has announced the first flight of the VH-92A test bed for the Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program.

The flight took place in Stratford, Conn. on July 28 and marked the start of 250 hours of flight time for the test program. The remainder of the test flights will take place in Oswego, N.Y.

"With this successful first flight on the books, we look forward to completion of Sikorsky flight test program, operational testing and production of this aircraft to support the Office of the President of the United States," program manager for the Presidential Helicopter's Program Office Col. Robert Pridgen said.

The Engineering Model 1 test helicopter will be joined by a second aircraft as the testing progresses over the next year.

The VH-92A is a modified version of the Sikorsky S-92 medium-lift helicopter with upgraded communications and executive-style interior enhancements. It will replace the aging VH-3D Sea King and VH-60N WhiteHawk helicopters currently used by the presidential air fleet. The Marine Corps HMX-1 squadron will operate the aircraft.

The VH-92A is expected to enter service in 2020. Its predecessor program for the VH-71 Kestrel was canceled in 2009 due to cost overruns and mismanagement pushed the price tag of the program to over $13 billion.

Bell and Boeing receive $53.1 million contract for MV-22 Osprey modifcations
Washington (UPI) Aug 4, 2017 - The Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office is receiving a $57.1 million modification for an existing contract for engineering and refit work on the V-22 Osprey Common Configuration and Readiness and Modernization Program.

The contract modification will go towards one MV-22 as a test for improving readiness and eventual modification of the MV-22 fleet to the Block C common configuration.

The refit work will be performed in Ridley Park, Penn., and Fort Worth, Texas, and is projected to be completed by Dec. 2019.

The MV-22 Osprey is the primary assault support aircraft of the U.S. Marine Corps. It has a unique design that uses twin rotor engines for vertical take-off and landing that can be tilted forward for conventional turboprop flight, allowing much higher speed and endurance than conventional helicopters.

It can carry 24 fully equipped Marines and has a range of nearly 600 miles, greatly exceeding conventional helicopters. It also forms part of the U.S. President's HMX-1 squadron for transporting staff and equipment.

The Osprey faced a number of design problems and crashes during its development since 1989, resulting in 30 deaths. After extensive flight doctrine changes, the safety record of the aircraft has improved dramatically.

The Block C configuration includes improved environmental controls, chaff/flare countermeasures, navigation upgrades and command-and-control displays.

AEROSPACE
Perlan glider reaches 32,500 feet eyes world aviation record
El Calafate, Argentina (SPX) Aug 03, 2017
Airbus Perlan Mission II, an initiative to fly a glider without an engine to the edge of space to collect ground-breaking insights on climate change, weather and high-altitude flight, this week reached a new high altitude in its second season of flight testing in El Calafate, Argentina. Pilots Jim Payne, Morgan Sandercock, Tim Gardner and Miguel Iturmendi have soared the pressurized Perlan ... read more

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