[electronic translation] With four aircraft already in the hangar factory for upgrades, Helibras held the first flight of the first upgraded AS550 Fennec of the Brazilian Army on Thursday 19th December, after completing its rebuild and modernizaston at their Itajubá plant.
A first cell – base for reconstruction / modernization of the helicopter EB -1019 – came to Helibrás in 2012 and went through the steps of disassembly, comprehensive inspection, installation and modernization.
The main objective of this first flight is the basic check of some systems, such as flight display, anemobarométrico, intercom, VHF and basic aircraft systems.
After the flight, the aircraft returned to the workshop, they will prepare for the campaign of flight tests for Military Certification. It is expected that the first Fennec rebuilt and modernized to be delivered to the Army in late April of next year.
The modernization program aims to upgrade the helicopters with modern avionics, autopilot, new radios and new Nav-Com mission equipment, such as new seats, ballistic protection, new arms weapons, plus repontecializá them. “This project is also adding new knowledge and tools to Helibrás, plus the ability to develop partnerships with other national industries. Now, we are entering the final phase of activities, including the execution of flight test campaign for military certification, painting and delivery of the first helicopter, “says Wilmer Son, Fennec executive of the modernization program.
While the first aircraft passes through the phase flights, the second lies in the integration of new systems and the modernization process is expected to be delivered in May 2014. The three others are going through the inspection Fennec partial C and will receive, throughout the next year, the modernization package.
The contract for the modernization program of the Army Fennec helicopters was signed in December 2011 and provides for the reconstruction / modernization two aircraft and modernization of 32. The termination of the contract is scheduled for 2018
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