16-Oct-2015 Source: Bell
FTV1 continues to perform various gross weight and center of gravity configurations as we expand the flight envelope. The pilots have activated the fly-by-wire augmentation system successfully and have conducted initial auto-rotation entry and recovery. FTV1 has accumulated over 46 hours of ground run and 27 hours of flight time, and continues to perform very close to our analytical predictions.
FTV2 is in the final stages of assembly and functional tests as it prepares for installation of the main rotor gear box.
The team continues to drive manufacturing of FTV2 and FTV3 to transfer into flight test this year.
Our two pre-production aircraft and our structural test articles are also in the final assembly process and we are preparing to begin manufacturing of our first customer aircraft in November. We have identified the initial kits for the early customer aircraft that will be installed in sequence with the aircraft assembly. This is a new integrated build process for Bell Helicopter and the team will learn and improve as we progress through the program.