Third Kopter SH09 flying
Switzerland’s Kopter Group AG has begun the next phase of the development and certification programme of its SH09 light helicopter with the third prototype. In late November P3, which incorporates several improvements and modifications based on feedback from the testing of Kopters P1 and P2, made a forty-minute flight from the company’s base at Mollis during which it flew a series of manoeuvres to record preliminary flight data, validate new design features and evaluate flight qualities. “P3 demonstrated excellent handling characteristics today, and I expect Kopter to make rapid progress in development of the SH09,” reported Kopter Chief Test Pilot Richard Trueman.
P3 will now undertake an intensive flight test campaign in Pozzallo, Sicily, while the Kopter team in Mollis will prepare a pre-series SH09 (PS4), which will then join P3 in Sicily. ‘The Mollis team will then set its future focus on upgrading the existing facility into a fully operational commercial production centre,’ the company says.
ABOVE: the SH09 uses a fenestron (enclosed tail rotor)