Swiss rotary developer, the Kopter Group, has commenced the next phase of its certification program with its latest SH09 prototype number 3 (P3). Founded in 2007 for the purpose of developing, building and supporting a new generation of turbine helicopters, its flagship machine, the SH09, is positioned in the 2.5 metric ton class with a fast cruise speed of 260 km/h and an impressively long range – in excess of 800km with standard fuel tanks.
The third prototype SH09 has now achieved the necessary technical clearance and regulatory compliance to start flight tests and flew from Mollis airfield in Switzerland this week to successfully complete its first flight test schedule, which included a series of manoeuvres aimed at obtaining preliminary flight data, validating test design features and evaluating flight qualities.
“P3 demonstrated excellent handling characteristics today, I expect Kopter to make rapid progress in development of the SH09” reported Richard Trueman, the Kopter Chief Test Pilot after the flight.
While P3 will continue the development of the SH09 by performing an intensive flight test campaign in Sicily (Pozzallo, Province of Ragusa), the Kopter team in Mollis will finalise the preparation of the next prototype, the Pre-Series number 4 (PS4), which will join P3 in 2019 to undertake flight testing in Sicily. In addition to its essential contribution to the development aircraft, the Mollis team will set its future focus on upgrading the existing facility into a fully operational commercial production centre.