HH-60W first flight

Sikorsky announced on May 17, 2019, that its HH-60W Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) helicopter had made its maiden flight from its facility in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The 1.2-hour flight included hover control checks and low speed flight and, according to Sikorsky, paves the way for a ‘Milestone C’ production decision, due in September 2019.

Edward Stanhouse, Chief of the US Air Force’s Helicopter Programme Office, said: “With the Combat Rescue Helicopter’s successful first flight now behind us, we look forward to completion of Sikorsky’s flight test programme, operational testing and production of this aircraft to support the Air Force’s critical rescue mission. Increased survivability is key, and we greatly anticipate the added capabilities this aircraft will provide.”

The US Air Force has a requirement for 113 HH-60Ws to replace existing HH-60G ‘Pave Hawk’ helicopters.

Wearing tail number 14481 (possibly 14-14481), the first Engineering and Manufacturing Development HH-60W helicopter EMD-1 on its May 17 maiden flight from Sikorsky’s West Palm Beach facility in Florida.