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Grey Wolf begins testing at Eglin [PHOTOS]

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The Air Force’s newest helicopter, the MH-139A Grey Wolf, completed its first combined test flight at Eglin Air Force Base on Feb. 11. With a Boeing pilot in command, this test flight allowed the Air Force its first in-flight look at the capabilities of the aircraft.  The flight also made Maj. Zach Roycroft, 413th Flight Test Squadron lead test pilot for the program, the first Air Force pilot to fly the MH-139A.

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EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — The Air Force’s newest helicopter, the MH-139A Grey Wolf, completed its first combined test flight here Feb. 11.

With a Boeing pilot in command, this test flight allowed the Air Force its first in-flight look at the capabilities of the aircraft.  The flight also made Maj. Zach Roycroft, 413th Flight Test Squadron lead test pilot for the program, the first Air Force pilot to fly the MH-139A.

“This first flight with Boeing was a critical step for the MH-139A program and allows us to establish a foundation for government testing,” said Roycroft.

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eglin air force base MH-139A grey wolf preflight check

Boeing and Air Force personnel perform preflight checks on the Air Force’s newest helicopter, the MH-139A Grey Wolf, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. All three pictured were part of the aircraft’s first combined test flight Feb. 11. The Grey Wolf is set to replace the Air Force’s aging UH-1N “Huey” fleet. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.) (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Boeing completed extensive flight-testing on the MH-139A to satisfy FAA requirements prior to the introduction of mixed contractor/Air Force crews.  The MH-139A program should complete initial military ground testing later this month.

“This flight represents a tremendous amount of work and we are all very excited to see it happen,” said Andrew Whitten, the MH-139 flight chief, who was also on the flight.

eglin air force base MH-139A grey wolf preflight check Staff Sgt. Alex Graves

Staff Sgt. Alex Graves performs preflight checks for the first time on the Air Force’s newest helicopter, the MH-139A Grey Wolf, Feb. 11 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Graves, an Air Force Global Strike Command Det. 7 special mission aviator, was part of the aircraft’s first combined test flight Feb. 11. The Grey Wolf is set to replace the Air Force’s aging UH-1N “Huey” fleet. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Staff Sgt. Alex Graves, Air Force Global Strike Command Det. 7 special mission aviator, was also on board for the historic flight.

The MH-139A is set to replace the Air Force’s aging UH-1N “Huey” fleet.  The new helicopter closes the capability gaps of the UH-1N in the areas of speed, range, endurance, payload and survivability in support of the command’s ICBM missions. Other mission capabilities include civil search and rescue, airlift support, National Capital Region missions, as well as survival school and test support.

eglin air force base MH-139A grey wolf first combined test flight

The Air Force’s newest helicopter, the MH-139A Grey Wolf, lifts off from the flightline for its first combined test flight Feb. 11 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The Grey Wolf is set to replace the Air Force’s aging UH-1N “Huey” fleet. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

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