Westland-VFW-Fokker P.277 "Fledermaus"


The helicopter scene of the aero salon of this year was clearly characterized by the model debut of a new combat helicopter, which VFW Fokker as well as Westland Helicopters developed in the last two years in all silence. The new helicopter with the designation P.277 bat corresponds to a large extent to the tactical demands of the German Federal Armed Forces for the PAH II. it resembles outwardly the American Bell AH-1 Hueycobra and ranks in the weight class by 4000 kg. As power plant as with the Lynx two 900 WPS turbines of the type Rolls-Royces RB.360 are intended. In addition one took over the entire rotor system of the Lynx, which a crucial contribution might be for standardization within NATO. Beyond that this would reduce the expenditure at costs and time for the development of the new helicopter to half.

With a realization of the all-weather suited P.277 this could take up for instance in the middle of the eighties its active troop service with the German army aviators. As its primary Einsatzaufgaben are considered the battlefield support with solid tank break-throughs, the purposeful fight of other armored ground targets and the escort of heavy transport helicopters. With a flying weight by 4200 kg and with eight HOT guided weapons the P.277 nearly 290 km/h is equipped to be fast. In addition it can be armed with a rotating turret at the fuselage lower side with 20 a mm cannon with 250 shot. One may be strained on the further development of the PAH II, which was again animated by the appearance of the P.277.