Kopter has equipped its SH09 helicopter prototype with new main rotor blades and a new main rotor head. The company will now be conducting further test flights with these new features. However, these will be the final optimization measures before the start of production, as revealed by the company in a press release.
It states that the new rotor blades will help to further reduce the overall workload for the pilots. “These recent modifications have addressed some characteristics we wanted to improve. Now, the aircraft is smoother and more stable, making it even easier to fly”, explains Richard Grant, Chief Test Pilot at Kopter. According to the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Kopter, Michele Riccobono, the test flights confirm that the SH09 has fulfilled expectations overall. The development is therefore on the right track.
The SH09 helicopter will have space for up to eight passengers in addition to the pilot. The maximum starting weight stands at 2,850 kilograms. Including external loads, the maximum starting weight totals 3,000 kilograms. With a cruising speed of 260 kilometers per hour, the SH09 is faster than the majority of helicopters of its class.
Kopter intends to produce the SH09 primarily in Mollis in the future. Each year, up to 50 helicopters will be manufactured at this site. To this end, the company is planning to erect a new production building at the Mollis airfield by 2021 and increase its staff complement to 400 employees.