The US Air Force’s newest helicopter, the MH-139A Grey Wolf, completed its first combined test flight last week.
Boeing’s MH-139A Grey Wolf is a multi-mission helicopter based on the commercial AW139 helicopter.
With a Boeing pilot in command, this test flight allowed the US Air Force its first in-flight look at the capabilities of the aircraft. The flight also made Maj. Zach Roycroft, 413th Flight Test Squadron lead test pilot for the program, the first Air Force pilot to fly Grey Wolf.
“This first flight with Boeing was a critical step for the MH-139A program and allows us to establish a foundation for government testing,” Roycroft said.
Boeing completed extensive flight-testing on Grey Wolf to satisfy Federal Aviation Administration requirements before the introduction of mixed contractor and Air Force crews.
The MH-139A programme should complete initial military ground testing later this month.
“This flight represents a tremendous amount of work and we are all very excited to see it happen,” said Andrew Whitten, MH-139A flight chief, who was also on the flight.
The MH-139A is set to replace the US Air Force’s UH-1N Huey fleet.
“The new helicopter closes the capability gaps of the UH-1N in the areas of speed, range, endurance, payload and survivability in support of the command’s intercontinental ballistic missile missions. Other mission capabilities include civil search and rescue, airlift support, National Capital Region missions, as well as survival school and test support.”