12 December 2003


We are very proud to announce for the first time on the world that the NH90 PT3 successfully flies today in Marignane with full Fly-by-Wire (without mechanical back-up).

The trial started at 10.30 a.m. during 50 minutes, the NH90 was flown by:
- Philippe BOUTRY experimental test pilot,
- Denis TRIVIER flight test engineer, and
- Jean-Claude RABANY flight engineer.

The PT3 has been converted to the full FBW configuration representative of the serial production.

We remind that four NH90 prototypes (PT2, 3, 4 and 5) were equipped with an initial mixed system, FBW on the pilot station and mechanical back-up on the co-pilot station, fitted in the development phase for safety reasons.

In accordance with the NH90 Programme schedule the PT3 will be dedicated to the system qualification flights planned into the FBW maturity programme, together with the participation of the PT4, next to be transformed in full FBW.

The NH90 first flight of a medium size transport helicopter equipped with FBW ever happened in the world represents a major landmark for the NH90 Programme and for the whole community of NAHEMA, end users, industrial partners, and NHIndustries originating this success. On this occasion NHIndustries is very pleased to mark the concurrence with the Centennial commemoration of the first sustained controlled powered flight of the history of the Wright brothers in Kitty Hawk (12-17 December 1903).

A hundred years of continuous technological evolution in aeronautics to which the NHIndustries Partner Companies largely contributed.