US101 Helicopter Completes First Flight of More Powerful GE Engines and New Cockpit Displays for Marine One

Team US101 has for the first time flown a US101 medium-lift helicopter equipped with more powerful, FAA- certified General Electric CT7-8E engines and new, large-screen cockpit instrument displays. Both the engines and the improved cockpit displays will be used for the Presidential Helicopter Replacement (VXX) program.

"This first, two-hour flight is a significant demonstration of the US101's superior air vehicle capabilities, ready now for the Marine One program," said Stephen D. Ramsey, Lockheed Martin's US101 vice president and general manager. "While our competition's engines are still in development and not yet FAA- certified, we have flown the actual engines that will be used by our Marine One offering, again demonstrating that ours is the proven, low-risk solution to the President's needs."

The more powerful, 2,500 shaft-horsepower GE CT7-8E engines provide 12 percent more power than previous CT7-family engines, increasing the US101's payload by at least 2,000 pounds while operating on hot days at high altitudes. The large cockpit displays give US101 pilots 70 percent more display area, and enhance their management of flight, system and mission data.

"I was pleased with the way the engines performed, and the clarity of the new cockpit displays," said Mike Adams-Swales, US101 senior test pilot. "The aircraft performed faultlessly, allowing us to complete all tests planned for this flight."

Each US101 executive transport helicopter will be equipped with three GE CT7-8E engines and five 10-inch x 8-inch liquid-crystal multi-function cockpit displays fitted with bezel-mounted multi-function keys.

The U.S. Navy's VXX award decision announcement is expected during December 2004.

More than 200 suppliers in 41 states have been chosen to support Team US101 with key products and services necessary for the president's new Marine One helicopter fleet. Other leading American companies on Team US101 include ITT, Northrop Grumman, Kaman Aerospace and Palomar Products. During the course of the helicopter fleet's operational service life, 90 percent of the total life cycle costs will flow to Team US101's American suppliers, creating and sustaining thousands of jobs nationwide while building these new Marine One helicopters.

Team US101 is led by Lockheed Martin Systems Integration - Owego, which serves as the prime contractor and systems integrator for the American-built US101 aircraft, an American variant of AgustaWestland's successful EH101 multimission helicopter. The US101 team collectively brings unmatched rotorcraft expertise and experience to this program: Lockheed Martin (prime contractor and systems integration), AgustaWestland (aircraft design) and Bell Helicopter (aircraft production).

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SOURCE: Lockheed Martin

CONTACT: Greg Caires, US101 Communications, +1-607-751-3200, or