US101 Takes to the Skies

 - December 19, 2007, 5:38 AM

The maiden flight of the US101 took place at Westland’s plant at Yeovil, England, last month. The configuration was the same as that proposed by Team US101 for the Presidential Helicopter Replacement (VXX) program.

Stephen Ramsey, Lockheed Martin US101 v-p and general manager, said that the two-hour flight was “a significant demonstration” of the US101’s capabilities. “The aircraft performed faultlessly,” confirmed senior test pilot Mike Adams-Swales.

The 2,500-shp GE CT7-8E engines provide 12 percent more power than previous CT7-series engines, increasing the US101’s payload by at least 2,000 pounds while operating on hot days at high altitudes. Five 10- by 8-inch LCD displays provide 70 percent more viewing area than that of EH101 production cockpits. The U.S. Navy’s VXX award decision is expected before year-end.