Boeing, one of the makers of the MH-139A Grey Wolf, refers to it as a “multi-mission helicopter.”
The Grey Wolf, which was the United States Air Force’s first ever purchased helicopter, was up until very recently being evaluated by a team of military and Boeing specialists.
That was before August 12, when the machine was finally cleared for takeoff by the military. After that, everything changed.
According to a statement provided by the military this week, this is precisely what occurred on August 17 at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
This helicopter was given the call sign Lycan while in the air to “verify processes, checklists, maintenance, emergency procedures, and aircrew communication and coordination.”
We still have another fifteen months of testing to complete before we can decide whether or if “the aircraft is safe to fly and set the limits and maneuvers that may be done.”
We may now concentrate on the next challenge. By mid-century, the US Air Force expects to have 80 in service and will begin acquiring them.
Boeing says Grey Wolf can go 50% quicker and 50% farther than competing platforms. It has “full autopilot capabilities to save pilot effort” and low operating costs.
The Grey Wolf is based on the AW139, which is powered by two 1,500-horsepower Pratt & Whitney turboshaft engines. Maximum speed is 310 km/h (193 mph) (660 miles).