AH-1Z Completes Envelope Expansion Testing

Released on Monday, January 6, 2003
AH-1W Super Cobra
AH-1Z Viper
EMD - Engineering and Manufacturing Development
USMC - United States Marine Corps
The latest version of light attack helicopter AH-1 Cobra, AH-1Z Super Cobra, has completed its envelope expansion testing in Patuxent River naval air station.

The envelope expansion testing shows how high and how fast the AH-1Z aircraft can go. These flight test provides data to form the basis for the platform's operating manual.

During this phase of flight testing, the AH-1Z reached a 16,000-foot altitude, took to 220 knots and maneuvered to -0.3 to 3.5 G's.

To date, the AH-1Z has accomplished 400 flight test hours during 24 months of EMD. The obtained data demonstrates good dependability, reliability and maintainability, especially compared to the AH-1W. The average AH-1W fleet utilization rate is 300 hours-per-year.

Now the 3 AH-1Z test aircraft will enter external stores jettison testing to demonstrate the aircraft capability to safely and effectively rid itself of anything attached to its six hard points when an emergency or malfunction occurs.

In addition, the AH-1Z recently supported cockpit mapping for the Top Owl helmet-mounted display, manufactured by Thales Group.

The AH-1Z will supersede the AH-1W in the USMC inventory, improving combat capabilities of the Marines attack helicopter units.


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