*picture included in the link
First Flight for the New Medium Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) HC-235A
By Thomas J. Esposito, Coast Guard Aviation Programs
Naval Air Systems, Patuxent River, Md.
Six Coast Guard pilots arrived in Seville, Spain and commenced 22 days of Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) ground training on Sept. 28. Flight training is scheduled for Oct. 30 and will last approximately 12 days.
On July 20, Coast Guard test pilot Lt. Robert Barthelmes pilot flew the MPA (HC-235A) for the first time as part of intensive flight testing at the manufacturers' facility in Seville. Lt. Barthelmes joined the EADS-CASA flight test team for two flights that evaluated auto-pilot gains and aerodynamic drag counts.
The HC-235A was designed and built by EADS-CASA of Spain and was procured by Integrated Coast Guard Systems as part of the Deepwater program. This aircraft is expected to serve the Coast Guard for the next 40 years following deliver in 2007.