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New Zealand’s first SH-2G(I) helicopter takes flight

16th April 2014 - 10:17 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The Kaman programme to deliver ten NZ SH-2G(I) Super Seasprite helicopters to New Zealand has achieved a significant milestone, with the first helicopter commencing production flight testing at the company’s Bloomfield, Connecticut facility.

New Zealand is acquiring ten Super Seasprite aircraft to replace the New Zealand Defence Force’s fleet of SH-2G Seasprites under a contract signed in April 2013. The aircraft have been in storage at Kaman’s facility since their rejection by the original Australian customer in 2008 following recurring integration and airworthiness issues.

Following the completion of production flight tests, this first aircraft will be used for maintenance and aircrew training. Kaman said that the programme is on track with deliveries of all ten aircraft scheduled to be complete in mid-2015.

Peter Lowen, New Zealand Defence Force project manager, said: ‘This flight of a NZ SH-2G(I) with a ‘Kiwi’ roundel represents a major milestone. The effort invested by the Ministry of Defence and the New Zealand Defence Force in cooperation with Kaman is now paying off.’

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