Boeing’s AH-6i light attack/reconnaissance helicopter has flown for the first time in its production configuration, moving the program another step closer to full-scale production while continuing to prove the helicopter’s close air support and attack capabilities.
Boeing pilots flew the aircraft for less than 20-minutes at low speeds in forward, rearward and sideward flight at low elevations during a recent test. Future tests will expand the flight envelope over the next several months.
“This first AH-6 flight in the production configuration takes us closer to delivering an advanced light attack and reconnaissance helicopter that meets the needs of defense forces around the world,” said Boeing AH-6 Program Director Scott Rudy.
The AH-6i is a single-turbine helicopter that is based on the combat-proven OH-6A Cayuse. It is an advanced variant of the AH-6M helicopter operated by the U.S. Army Special Operations Forces. It incorporates advanced technologies from the Boeing AH-64E Apache multirole attack helicopter that give it superior performance over other aircraft in its class.
The helicopter is intended to provide close-air support for land-based forces and serve as an attack platform for destroying tanks, armored vehicles and fortifications.