Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel is an American military transport multi-purpose helicopter developed by Lockheed Martin, AgustaWestland and Bell Helicopter in 2007.
The initiator of the development of the multi-purpose aircraft was the representatives of the American aircraft company Lockheed Martin, who intended to design a highly efficient aircraft that could find active operation in the US Marine Corps. As a basic principle, the American aircraft developers chose the AgustaWestland AW101 helicopter model, which previously was able to prove its versatility and high reliability, however, the appearance, as well as its flight performance, changed for the better, which Lockheed should have done Martin VH-71 Kestrel is more efficient in terms of its operation.
The Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel helicopter began to be developed in 2001, however, even though the aircraft took off for the first time after 6 years, the project did not gain much popularity, and the main reason for this was the disproportionately high cost of the aircraft, which, according to 2008 data, was about $ 400 million. Nevertheless, the aircraft manufacturing company Lockheed Martin was still able to build 7 aircraft, including a prototype, some of which entered service in the US Marine Corps.
The helicopter model Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel has a more aerodynamic shape than the model AgustaWestland AW101, in the image and technical likeness of which this aircraft was created. The good aerodynamics of the Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel helicopter allowed it to accelerate to higher speeds, consume less fuel, and be more maneuverable, which in turn ensured the improvement of the amount of flight performance.
Due to the relatively high cost, in 2009 the Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel helicopter project was officially closed, since in fact, using other models of aircraft of this class was not only more profitable but also no less effective.
Onboard a helicopter model Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel can carry 18 people, including 4 crew members and 14 military personnel, however, in addition to transporting people, the aircraft was also actively used and is used to transport various kinds of cargo, provided that the maximum take-off the weight of the helicopter will not be exceeded.
The power plant of the Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel model includes three General Electric CT7-8E gas turbine engines, each of which has its thrust of 2520 hp, which allows the aircraft to accelerate to a maximum flight speed of 310 km \ h. The maximum distance over which the Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel helicopter can fly is 1390 kilometers.
- Crew: 4 people;
- Capacity: 14 people (depending on layout);
- Length: 19.54 m.;
- Height: 6.62 m.;
- The diameter of the rotor: 18.6 m.;
- Empty helicopter mass: 10500 kg .;
- Maximum take-off weight: 15600 kg .;
- Cruising speed: 280 km \ h.;
- Maximum flight speed: 310 km \ h.;
- Maximum flight range: 1390 km .;
- Maximum flight height: 4575 m.;
- Powerplant: 3 × General Electric CT7-8E;
- Power: 3 × 2520 hp