First Production VH71, Future Presidential Helicopter, Takes to The Air in England

That plain old yellowish-green helicopter is the really the first production version of the VH71... the future Presidential Marine One. It's been a year since the prototype took flight, but apparently PP-1 (the first of five in phase one) performed "exceptionally during its 40-minute flight."

That was yesterday at the AugustaWestland facility in Yeovil, UK. It'll be shipped stateside by a C17 to U.S. Naval Air Station Patuxent River sometime in October for more outfitting and testing. Phase two production is due to total 23 more choppers with "increased range and upgraded navigation and communications systems." Who knew the Pres needed 28 helicopters? [LockheedMartin]

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