The brand new AW249 NESS (“Fenice”) fight helicopter has deployed to Palma del Río for testing in scorching climate.
The primary prototype of the brand new Leonardo AW249 NEES (Nuovo Elicottero da Esplorazione e Scorta / New Exploration and Escort Helicopter), CSX82097, s/n 24001, is at present deployed to Spain to undertake scorching climate testing at Palma del Río, close to Cordoba.
Como os quedais si os digo que el prototipo #2 del AW249 NEES está en cordoba haciendo ensayos en vuelo? Pues imaginad mi cara ayer cuando veo esto sobre Palma del Río pic.twitter.com/nQU3PCDfup
— Santi Blánquez (@SantiBlanquez) August 2, 2023
The helicopter is the second prototype of the “Fenice” (Italian for “Phoenix”, because the AW249 needs to be identified, as revealed by Common Andrea Di Stasio, Commander of the Italian Military Aviation), that carried out its first flight from the Leonardo Helicopters plant in Vergiate, on Mar. 19, 2023, following one other prototype that flew the sort’s maiden flight in August 2022 (in its primer paint and the experimental serial CSX82069).
The pictures submitted by one in all our readers present no important modifications to the prototype: the one notable element might be the addition of an actual TTS electro-optical/PNVS (Pilot Night time Imaginative and prescient System) and what seem like rectangular gadgets (likely used to simulate one thing else for testing functions) on the stub wings.
The fuselage and tail increase options strains and purple tapes presumably used to connect pressure sensors on the floor to watch the stress on the airframe in the course of the flight.
The AW249 ought to spend one month in Spain earlier than returning to Italy.
As already defined, the brand new assault helicopter will replace the AW129 Mangusta, which has been in service with the Italian Military because the Nineteen Nineties and upgraded all through the years till the present AH-129D variant. The Military plans to retire the AH-129 from 2025.
Right here’s what we defined in regards to the form of the “Fenice” in our earlier story on the sort:
Many are contemplating the AW249 as a copy of the AH-64 Apache, nonetheless the 2 helicopters have little or no in frequent, apart from the tandem cockpit configuration. The AW249 is, in reality, a very completely different helicopter than its predecessor, the AW129, which was initially designed within the late Seventies as A129 and first flew in 1983: whereas it leverages the teachings realized with the Mangusta, it encompasses a new airframe, transmission, engines and avionics By the way in which, the tandem cockpit configuration doesn’t even date again to the Apache, but to the AH-1 Cobra.
Coping with the engines:
The helicopter is powered by a pair of GE Aviation CT7-8E6 (T700) turboshaft engines, rated at 2,500hp (1,860kW) every and likewise consists of dynamic components from the AW149 transport helicopter. The AW249 has been designed with a most take-off weight (MTOW) inside the vary of seven,500 – 8,000 kg (in regards to the double of the AW129’s MTOW), with the power to function in each hot-and-high and chilly climate circumstances, with a cruising velocity of 140kts and a three-hour endurance. The helicopter has been designed additionally with ship-borne operations in thoughts.