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Production Presidential Helicopter Flies

This article first appeared at AviationWeek.com.

AgustaWestland has begun flying the pilot production version of its VH-71A variant of the AW101 for the U.S. presidential helicopter program. The helicopter, PP-1, was flown from the company's Yeovil site in England on September 22. It is the first of five production aircraft that will be built under Increment 1 of the program, with 23 improved helicopters to be produced under the follow-on Increment 2.

Lockheed Martin, prime contractor for the VH-71 program, is installing the first mission systems in two Increment 1 test vehicles, TV-3 and TV-4, at its presidential helicopter integration facility in Owego, New York. Another two helicopters, TV-1 and TV-5, are continuing air-vehicle flight testing at the U.S Navy's Patuxent River test center in Maryland.

Read the rest of this story, see how FCS is moving forward, chart the submersible drug catcher and explore the myths of Airlift from our Aviation Week friends at Military.com.

-- Christian

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