Maj. Zach Roycroft and Tony Arrington test pilots from the 413th Flight Test Squadron from Eglin Air Force Base, Florida turned into the first Air Force pilots to obtain a type rating on the AW-139 helicopter in Whippany.
Test pilots finished the five-week contracted course on the civilian counterpart to the Air Force’s new MH-139 helicopter built by Boeing in partnership with Leonardo. The aircraft will replace the Air Force’s growing old UH-1N, Huey.
A type rating is a Federal Aviation Management qualification for a selected plane.
As the pilots were in flight training, 413th FLTS and Air Force World Strike Command Airmen were finishing the maintenance technician course for the same jet. Those Airmen are being trained on the unique programs included in the MH-139 such as the hoist and cargo hook.
The information gathered from the training will allow the Airmen to soundly operate the jet systems, carry out effective developmental testing, and teach their peers, per Tech. Sgt. Joe Kendall, 413th FLTS aviator.
The Boeing MH-139 leverages over a decade of duty, derived from the AW139 developed in Philadelphia, with a line of over 900 planes, serving more than 250 prospects worldwide, covering more than 2.1 million flight hours.
Delivery of the MH-139 marks the first time in recent history the Air Force will obtain a rotary-wing asset not beforehand employed in another branch of the army.
The Air Force intends to buy 84 MH-139 helicopters over the subsequent decade. The first plane delivery to the 413th FLTS is recorded for late November.