Australian aircrew trainer makes first flight

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The first EC135 T2+ helicopter in a planned fleet of modern, twin-engine, rotary-wing aircraft being acquired by the Australian Defense Force (ADF) for its new Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS), has successfully completed its first flight in Europe.

Under the HATS project, a joint training scheme for both Army and Navy aircrew will use some 15 Airbus Helicopters EC135 T2+ trainers, along with EC135 flight simulators and a new flight-deck equipped, sea-going training vessel.

Boeing Defense Australia (BDA) is the prime contractor for the new training system, partnered by Thales Australia, which will provide the flight simulators.

The Airbus Helicopters Flight Test Department reported that the successful first flight had validated the full performance of the aircraft’s systems and engines, and that future flights would test specific customer equipment.

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