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President Biden’s New Helicopter Hits Setback: It’s Unreliable in a Crisis

  • Aircraft isn’t ‘operationally effective’: Pentagon test office
  • White House Military Office has yet to approve a first flight
Lockheed’s VH-92 helicopter departs the White House in a test in 2019.
Lockheed’s VH-92 helicopter departs the White House in a test in 2019.Photographer: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden’s first flight on the new presidential helicopter built by Lockheed Martin Corp. is being delayed after a report by the Pentagon’s testing unit warned that it’s not yet “operationally suitable” or sufficiently reliable -- especially in an emergency.

The Biden administration hasn’t yet determined if the helicopter can be put into operation because it’s still assessing its safety, according to a U.S. official who asked not to be identified discussing the internal deliberations. The White House Military Office will determine the timeline.