The Royal Norwegian Navy has tested NH90 helicopter landings on ships in order to assess ship‑helicopter operational limitations.
Carried out in the North Sea, the navy successfully evaluated whether the NH90 military helicopters could land safely on two navy ships in open sea.
The tests were completed in one week and were overseen by NLR, together with Dutch company AeroMath.
During the event, a total of 308 helicopter landings were performed, with an average of one landing every four minutes.
Tests were conducted using a method developed by Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR) in collaboration with the Royal Netherlands Navy.
The method enabled the Norwegian Navy to conduct the trials at significantly lower costs while providing the service with a cost-effective solution that would help enhance the performance of civil and military operations carried out using helicopters.
In the 1980s, the Netherlands Navy selected NLR to develop a test method for significantly reducing the number of test hours at sea so as to lower the costs of testing.
The method includes testing navy vessel models in a DNW wind tunnel to obtain a picture of the airflow around the vessels.
In addition to ensuring cost-effective deployment of helicopters in civil and military tasks, the NLR method will help ensure aircraft safety at sea.
The second phase of the project involves shore-based trials that expose helicopters to different wind speeds on land.
The NH90 medium class military helicopter is a modern medium-sized multi-role aircraft that has been designed and developed by Europe’s NHIndustries partnership, which comprises Airbus Helicopters, Agusta Westland, and Fokker.