The US Air Force’s new MH-139A Grey Wolf helicopter completed its first combined test flight on February 11.
With a Boeing pilot in command, this test flight allowed the Air Force its first in-flight look at the capabilities of the aircraft. The flight also made Maj. Zach Roycroft, 413th Flight Test Squadron lead test pilot for the program, the first Air Force pilot to fly Grey Wolf.
“This first flight with Boeing was a critical step for the MH-139A program and allows us to establish a foundation for government testing,” Roycroft said.
Boeing completed flight-testing on Grey Wolf to satisfy Federal Aviation Administration requirements before the introduction of mixed contractor and air force crews.
The air force expects MH-139A program to complete initial military ground testing later this month.
“This flight represents a tremendous amount of work and we are all very excited to see it happen,” said Andrew Whitten, MH-139A flight chief, who was also on the flight.
The MH-139A is set to replace the Air Force’s UH-1N Huey fleet. The new helicopter closes the capability gaps of the UH-1N in the areas of speed, range, endurance, payload and survivability in support of the command’s intercontinental ballistic missile missions.
Other mission capabilities include civil search and rescue, airlift support, National Capital Region missions, as well as survival school and test support.
Up to 84 Grey Wolf helicopters are scheduled for delivery through Boeing under a $2.38 billion contract.