NHIndustries, the prime contractor for the quadrinational NH90 helicopter Programme (launched by France, Italy, Germany and The Netherlands) informs that the first run of the NH90 Ground Test Vehicle (Iron Bird) has successfully taken place on 28 September 95 at AGUSTA plant of Cascina Costa, Italy.
The first run of the NH90 Iron Bird started the Test Programme to provide the required clearance substantiation for the 1st flight of the first NH90 prototype scheduled by the end of the year.
To this purpose, about 300 aircraft parameters are presently installed.
The NH90 Iron Bird has been completed with the main modules, groups and components arrived from the plants of the four European companies sharing the development work for NHIndustries:
Agusta, Eurocopter Deutschland, Eurocopter France and Fokker.
On a tie-down metal structure solidly attached to the ground, the NH90 upper-deck, the rear fuselage and the tail unit are installed.
The whole dynamic system is the same as the one installed on the first NH90 prototype, including the two engines, the main gear box, the tail drive system, the flight controls, the main and tail rotors.
The installation of the vehicle subsystems have been supported by on-site working teams of the four Partner Companies according to their System Design Responsibility and have given excellent results.
The Iron Bird Test Programme is a unique tool that allows the development of the dynamic system trough several trial campaigns up to the year 2000. It provides and extends the necessary clearances for the flight tests of the five foreseen prototypes, contributes to the NH90 helicopter reliability and will perform finally the required Type Test leading to the full qualification of the drive system.