Flight Testing The AW159 Wildcat Helicopter At Sea

9 February 2017

No.4 Hamilton Place, London


The AW159 Wildcat Helicopter is the latest generation multi role, multi mission maritime and utility helicopter for the Royal Navy and British Army. Designed from concept to operate in the harshest maritime environments of high sea state and associated deck motion conditions, it is equally at home in the desert or mountains.

Equipped with a comprehensive state of the art, fully integrated avionics and mission systems the crew are provided with excellent situational awareness. Advanced technologies facilitate rapid tactical assessment in the theatre of operations, day and night and a network enabled capability to find, fix, strike and integrate into the battlespace.

The lecture will discuss the rigorous flight testing process that has been conducted to ensure that the Wildcat is fit for purpose in the uncompromising maritime role, and safe to operate in this the most unforgiving environment, in all weathers by day and night (conventional and using night vision goggles) around the globe.

Speaker Details

Mark Burnand, Deputy Chief Test Pilot, Leonardo Helicopters

Mark Burnand served for 18 years in the British Army flying Gazelle, Lynx and Apache helicopters, and also Sea Kings with the Royal Navy’s Commando Helicopter Force. An Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS) Graduate, Mark worked at MOD Boscombe Down for many years on a wide variety of helicopters and programmes, including high altitude testing, ship trials, environmental trials, helmet mounted systems and weapon testing. He then commanded 667 (Development and Trials) Squadron of the Army Air Corps before returning to ETPS as a test pilot tutor.

On leaving the military he joined Leonardo Helicopters (then Agusta Westland) where he is now the Deputy Chief Test Pilot conducting all phases of flight test on both military and commercial helicopters in the UK and Italy, and other locations around the world when required.


No.4 Hamilton Place, London

Royal Aeronautical Society Headquarters

No.4 Hamilton Place