26 June 1996

The NH90 (maiden flight 18 December 95) after the scheduled inspection and ground test activity is resuming the intensive flight trials.

The first prototype of NH90 helicopter (PT1) logged 35 flight hours.
Preliminary evaluation flights have been already performed by the Test Pilots and Flight Engineers of the Armed Forces of France, Italy and Germany.

NHIndustries, the prime contractor for the quadrinational NH90 helicopter Programme (launched by France, Italy, Germany and The Netherlands) is pleased to say that the comments arised from these “Customer” evaluation are highly positive. They have been favourably impressed by the overall manoeuvrability of the NH90, by its response damping, by its directional stability, by its vibration and noise level, by its overall performances and especially by the low pilot workload requested.

Development activities are carried out by the four European industrial partners, Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH, Eurocopter France S.A., Agusta S.p.A (Italy), and Fokker (The Netherlands) according to the design responsibility defined in the contract signed by NHIndustries and NAHEMA, the NATO Agency representing the Four Participating Nations.

During the NH90 Development phase, a total of 5 prototypes, plus the Ground Test Vehicle (Iron Bird) will be employed to demonstrate design compliance and to validate overall system performance. Qualification is further supported by a number of laboratory and ground tests, simulators and integration facilities.

Needs for replacement of existing fleets, for tactical transport and naval missions, are playing a major role in the NH90 both in the Four Participating Nations and in the Export market. This is leading to an impressive scale helicopter market and has enabled NHIndustries to apply the most suitable policies to be highly competitive worldwide.

The NH90 Programme represents an obliged and exciting step in the view of pursuing common defence means, common strategies and to reinforce the European aeronautical cooperation with the aim of sharing costs, workload and technology to produce a competitive helicopter.