13 Jan
Experiencing the Future of Marine One Experiencing the Future of Marine One

Experiencing the Future of Marine One

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As seems fitting, any aircraft assigned to a head of state should undergo serious amounts of testing before the head honcho climbs aboard for a maiden voyage.

In the case of the President of the United States, the two main aircraft used for transporting him anywhere he wants to go are Air Force One, a sizable airplane capable of globe-hopping, and Marine One, a military-style helicopter that is often seen shuttling the president back and forth between buildings/destinations and airfields.

Naturally, the aircraft that use these call signs (the actual plane and helicopter can change, but when used, the official names mean the President is on board) eventually need to be replaced by newer and improved models.

This past summer, defense contractor Lockheed Martin announced the initial voyage of a VH-92A configured test aircraft as part of the U.S. Marine Corps’ VH-92A Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program. The flight marked the beginning of a 250-hour flight test program slated to unfold at Lockheed Martin facilities in Owego, NY.

The VH-92A draws its inspiration from a commercial-type helicopter known as the S-92A, which has logged more than one million hours with hundreds of customers in 10 nations. The new chopper will replace the current Marine One fleet that consists of machines that are upwards of 30 to 50 years old, and which have surpassed their service lives.

U.S. Marine Corps Col. Robert Pridgen, program manager for the Naval Air System Command’s Presidential Helicopter’s Program Office, said, “With this successful first flight on the books, we look forward to completion of Sikorsky’s flight test program, operational testing and production of this aircraft to support the Office of the President of the United States,."

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Read 2262 times Last modified on Thursday, 28 December 2017 02:22
Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

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