US Army Apache fleet reaches flight hour milestone
The US Army's aviation programme office announced on 27 August 2012 that the US Army’s AH-64 Apache helicopter fleet has surpassed 3.5 million flight hours. It said that the Boeing-produced aircraft reached the milestone in June 2012 as Apache crews flew combat missions in Afghanistan, participated in exercises in South Korea, and trained with the new AH-64D Apache Block III.
Apaches began operating in 1984 following the first delivery by Boeing in September 1983. Since then, the aircraft has ‘effectively fulfilled the demands of battlefield commanders’, Boeing said.
The latest and most advanced Apache, the AH-64D Apache Block III, features composite main rotor blades, a composite stabilator, 701D engines with an enhanced digital electronic control unit, and an improved drive system that enhances the rotorcraft's performance.
Col. Jeff Hager, Apache project manager for the US Army, said: ‘Achieving and surpassing 3.5 million flight hours is a very significant milestone for the Apache, and I am incredibly proud of the soldiers who fly and maintain this helicopter. I am also pleased for the opportunity to work with dedicated and diligent men and women in government service and industry who design, build and continue to modernise an aircraft that delivers proven capabilities and cutting-edge technologies.’
(Photo: Dan McClinton - US Army)
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