13 March 1998

The first NH90 prototype (PT1) with the T700-T6E engine, co-developed by Alfa Romeo Avio, Fiat Avio and General Electric Aircraft Engines, was successfully flown on March 13th, 1997 from the AGUSTA plant in Cascina Costa, north of Milan.

The trial started at 9.45 a.m. and for the next 55 minutes the NH90 was flown by Experimental Test Pilots Fabio Frisi and Carlo Tondi with the Flight Test Engineer Marco Montorfano.

NHIndustries, prime contractor for the quadrinational NH90 helicopter Programme (launched by France, Italy, Germany and The Netherlands) is pleased to say that the crew and the engineers present at this flight trial event, expressed their complete satisfaction with this innovative helicopter, which represents a challenge for Europe`s aircraft industry.

AGUSTA has the design responsibility for the installation and testing of this engine, as foreseen by the Additional Work and National Customisation contract signed on 6 October 1995 by NAHEMA (NATO Helicopter Management Agency) and NHIndustries (NH90 prime contractor).

According to the contract the “Additional work” items developed in the frame of the main D&D contract, such as the second engine, can be commonly utilised by all the Participating Nations.

We recall that the NH90 PT1 (maiden flight 18 Dec. 95) has logged 160 flight hours with the engines Turbomeca / Rolls-Royce RTM 322-01/9, opening the whole flight envelope. Recently it performed a daily presentation at the Paris Airshow 97.

The second prototype, the PT2, (maiden flight 19 March 97) is presently continuing the Fly-by-wire planned trials.

The ground test vehicle (GTV) has logged more than 300 test hours.

The overall trial results are very satisfactory and consolidate the basis of the NH90 Project.