First Flight NewsEurocopter Tiger/Tigre
The first prototype of the French/German Tigre helicopter, which will be used for airframe and engine development, has performed its first flight on 29 April 1991 at Marignane (France) piloted by Etienne Herrenschmidt and Andrew Warner, experimental test pilots of Aerospatiale and MBB.
This flight, which lasted 50 minutes, and which proceeded very satisfactorily and according to plan, enabled confirmation of the good characteristics of all basic subsystems such as the carbon fibre airframe, the rotor hub, the engines and the fuel and hydraulics systems.
This first flight was performed in accordance with the development timescale raised on launch of the programme at the end of 1987 : i.e. 3 months after the first flight of the engine (MTR 390 of the MTR consortium) on an Aerospatiale Panther Helicopter.
This programme is the first example of French/German collaboration in the helicopter field and is controlled jointly by the German defence buying authorities and by the equivalent French Delegation Generale pour l'Armement. It is conducted with Eurocopter GmbH (joint subsidiary of Aerospatiale and, of MBB) as the prime contractor.
Four other prototypes will be produced for the testing of both versions the support and defence version (HAP) and the anti-tank version (HAC/PAH2) of the Tigre helicopter, of which 427 units are planned for construction to cover both countries' requirements.