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Collective applause as ADF pilots fly GrandNew helicopter

2nd August 2011 - 12:42 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Nowra, NSW "It was fantastic!" - that was the verdict of highly-experienced Australian Defence Force pilots who took the controls of the GrandNew helicopter at Nowra today, after it was demonstrated by the AgustaWestland, CAE and BAE Systems team for AIR9000 Phase 7.

From the most seasoned of naval aviators to the latest generation of young pilots, all said it was a great aircraft with good manoeuvrability and the latest in cockpit display technologies - and that it was fun to fly!

The GrandNew is a new generation light twin engine helicopter that is successfully operating worldwide. It is light enough for ab initio pilot training but large enough to perform aircrew training for other helicopter missions.

It incorporates advanced cockpit features and handling profiles to simplify aircrew transition onto the new generation of operational helicopter types entering ADF Service. Its twin engines, large power margin and wheeled undercarriage provide for the safest possible margins in both maritime and land training environments.

Chairman of AgustaWestland Australia General Peter Cosgrove (Retd) said: "The GrandNew provides a low-risk, off-the-shelf solution that will meet the future rotary-wing training needs of the Australian Defence Force. It is a fully crashworthy helicopter and complies with the most stringent international safety standards."

Within the team, BAE Systems will lead all maintenance and support services. CAE has primary responsibility for the design of the overall synthetic training program, including the manufacture of training devices and classroom and simulator instruction.

Peter Redman, Interim Managing Director of CAE Australia said: "CAE and AgustaWestland have manufactured a number of simulators for the AW helicopter fleet. Our existing relationship and proven ability to integrate live and synthetic training environments should provide a high level of confidence to the ADF."

"Through the Management and Support of ADF Aerospace Simulators (MSAAS) contract, we are an established ADF partner, contracted to provide aircrew training services for the C130 and KC-30A fleets, and engineering and maintenance services for the Black Hawk, Seahawk and Sea King and MRH 90 training equipment," he added.

General Manager Aviation Maintenance and Support Services for BAE Systems Mike Shaw said: "Most of the maintenance work will be done in Australia by Australian workers. We have strong links with the Nowra community and support Navy and Army through existing programs for Sea Hawk, Black Hawk and Chinook. We look forward to further developing our strong relationship with AgustaWestland."

As well as day-to-day servicing by BAE Systems, major repair and overhaul work for the transmission and other dynamic components will be done in the Transmission Repair and Overhaul facility being established in Australia - adding even more value to Australian industry.

The helicopter used in today's demonstration is owned by Linfox, operated by its chief pilot Brett Quarrell and instructor pilot Michael Tavcar.

Source: BAE Systems


The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

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