Comanche Prototypes Fly Together for First Time
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., May 10, 1999 -- For the first time, RAH-66 Comanche were a pair in the air, as both Boeing Sikorsky RAH-66 Prototypes lifted off together for a test flight on April 23 at the Comanche Team's Development Flight Center here.
The two-ship flight was part of an aggressive flight test schedule involving two separate flights each for Comanche prototype Nos. 1 and 2.
After completing 1.5 hours in the air on April 23, prototype No. 1 has tallied 130 flight operations totaling nearly 145 hours. Prototype No. 2 completed its fourth and fifth flights, involving 1.4 hours, for a total of nearly five flight hours since its first liftoff on March 30.
In addition to formation flying as part of the test program, prototype No. 1 continued envelope expansion work, achieving transient sideslips up to 85 degrees at 80 knots. The aircraft expanded its load factor envelope, reaching 2.4g at 155 knots, 2.35g at maximum cruise velocity in the positive direction and -0.1g at 120 knots, 0g at both 140 and 155 knots.
During prototype No. 2's flight, test engineers completed data collection for infrared signature testing on the aircraft's exhaust system. Prototype No. 2 is now preparing for a trip to Nashville, Tenn., where it will be on static display at the Army Aviation Association of America's annual meeting and exhibition. In June, No. 2 will be on static display at the Paris Air Show.
The RAH-66 Comanche, the U.S. Army's 21st century combat helicopter, is being developed by U.S. Army Aviation and a team of leading aerospace companies headed by Boeing and Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.
U.S. Navy Public Affairs
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