18 May 1998

For the first time a helicopter featuring a redundant digital Fly-By-Wire control system is flying at ILA Airshow in Berlin.

The second prototype of NH90 helicopter (PT2) is arrived at Schönefeld/Diepensee airport following a 650 NM flight from Marignane airport (south of France).

NH90 is ready to fly in the presence of the officials, press and public visiting the Airshow.

The Fly-By-Wire solution allows the optimisation of the handling qualities in the complete flight envelope. It reduces weight and complexity of the control system (control rods, mixing units,...). It also means reduction of vulnerability and augmentation of safety (high redundancy). Furthermore it allows the evolution of the control laws which enable consideration of future operational needs.

This technological innovation has the precise task of drastically reducing the pilot workload in any operational environment and let him concentrate on the mission he is called to perform.

NHIndustries, the prime contractor for the quadrinational NH90 helicopter Programme (launched by France, Italy, Germany and The Netherlands) is pleased to say that this presentation has satisfied the high expectations in Germany.

Germany is one of the Nations participating in the NH90 Programme with the view of pursuing common defence means, common strategies and the reinforcing of European cooperation.

Needs for replacement of existing fleets, for tactical transport and naval missions, are playing a major role in the NH90 Programme 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.

As far as the German Armed Forces are concerned, the NH90 will replace at the beginning of the century the ageing fleet of UH-1D Huey, Lynx and Sea King.