US Air Force Pilots Begin Testing the New MH-139 Helicopter

The MH-139 is the American derivative of Leonardo’s Italian AW-139 helicopter.

The test pilots of Flight Test Squadron number 413 became the first pilots of the United States Air Force to receive the AW-139 helicopter license on July 29, 2019 and receive the type rating, which is a FAA rating for a specific aircraft.

Major Zach Roycroft and Tony Arrington completed the five-week course, with the civil counterpart, in the new US Air Force MH-139 helicopter.

The MH-139 will replace the former UH-1N Huey helicopter fleet of the US Air Force. UU.

“This brings our team closer to the flight tests of the new aircraft at the end of production,” said Roycroft, chief test pilot of the MH-139. “Ultimately, the United States Air Force takes a step towards delivering an airplane that will increase the much needed capacity we need.”

While the test pilots were in flight training, the 413 ° FLTS and the aviators and maintenance personnel of the Air Force Global Attack Command completed the technical maintenance course in the new helicopter.

These personnel also received training on the unique systems included in the MH-139, such as the winch and the load hook.

The knowledge acquired during the training will allow US personnel to operate safely in aeronautical systems, conduct effective development tests and train their colleagues, according to technical sergeant Joe Kendall of 413th FLTS.

The delivery of the MH-139 marks the first time in the recent history of the US air force that it will receive a rotating wing means that is no longer used in another body of the US Armed Forces.


The United States Air Force plans to buy 84 MH-139 helicopters in the next decade.

The first delivery of the aircraft to 413 ° FTS is scheduled for the end of November 2019.

The Italian MH-139 was chosen to replace the UH-1N “Huey” fleet in use for the protection of intercontinental ballistic missile bases and for transportation of government personnel and US special forces. UU.

The program has a value of around 2.4 billion dollars and includes up to 84 helicopters, training systems and related logistic support equipment.

Leonardo’s AW139, as the basis of the MH-139, is a market leader and a modern, proven and multi-functional product that is already in service in several countries with proven capabilities to protect critical infrastructure and transport military and government personnel.

The helicopter is equipped with flare dispensers and systems to avoid missiles that look for heat.

A large transport capacity, a glass cabin with advanced avionics systems, a four-axis digital autopilot with automatic displacement complete the technical characteristics of the aircraft.

Boeing’s experience, as a prime contractor, in the military helicopter sector, combined with the multi-mission capabilities of the MH-139 helicopter, will provide new and high capacity to the US air force.


Source: Aviation-report