MESA, Ariz., 1 May 2014. Boeing's [NYSE:BA] AH-6i light attack/reconnaissance helicopter flew for the first time in its production configuration, moving the program another step closer to full-scale production while demonstrating the helicopter's close air support and attack capabilities.
During the test, Boeing pilots flew the aircraft for less than 20 minutes at low speeds in forward, rearward, and sideward flight at low elevations. Future tests will expand the flight envelope over the next several months.
The AH-6i single-turbine helicopter is based on the combat-proven OH-6A Cayuse and is an advanced variant of the AH-6M helicopter operated by the U.S. Army Special Operations Forces. It incorporates advanced technologies from the Boeing AH-64E Apache multirole attack helicopter.
The helicopter is intended to provide close-air support for land-based forces and serve as an attack platform for destroying tanks, armored vehicles, and fortifications.
"This first AH-6 flight in the production configuration takes us closer to delivering an advanced light attack and reconnaissance helicopter that meets the needs of defense forces around the world," says Boeing AH-6 Program Director Scott Rudy.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security, headquartered in St. Louis, is a $33 billion business with 57,000 employees worldwide.