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Rotary Wing flagship ‘Papa’ undergoes first QinetiQ Approved Training Organisation sortie


AW139 1st flight banner

Widely seen as the long-term replacement for the Sea King, the addition of the AW139 in July 2021 marked the last major delivery milestone in QinetiQ’s Test Aircrew Training (TAT) Rotary Wing (RW) Fleet Review Investment. 

Leonardo AW139 – registered at G-ETPP ‘Papa’ – features a comprehensive suite of mission systems, including an Electro-Optical/Infra-Red turret, rescue hoist, searchlights, cargo hook and radar, and is the showcase of the ETPS Rotary Wing fleet.

We are pleased to say that the AW139 has successfully undergone its first QinetiQ ATO (Approved Training Organisation) sortie, with expert flight test professionals Cyril Dodin, Ian Phillis and Robert Lakey on board ‘Papa’s’ maiden mission. The objective of the sortie was to increase familiarity with the aircraft and to practice the test techniques required for utilisation by students during their end of course check later this month. Chief Flying Instructor, Cyril Dodin remarked, “The AW139, which will soon be fully instrumented, is already a great asset to have on the course”.

The systems-rich nature of the AW139 will provide QCFO (QinetiQ Civil Flying Organisation) and ETPS with an asset that symbolises modern ‘heavy’ helicopters, with QinetiQ investment bearing fruit as Training, Test and Evaluation capabilities continue to be modernised in the face of new frontline training requirements.