Marenco SH09 Helicopter First Flight Expected by July

 - May 13, 2014, 3:35 PM

Marenco Swisshelicopter anticipates flying its SH09 SKYe single-engine helicopter in the coming weeks and in any case by July, it said. This month, the company will also apply to Switzerland’s civil aviation authority for a permit to fly, chief commercial officer Mathias Sénès told AIN.

Although the schedule for the maiden sortie keeps slipping to the right, development is progressing. To date, the company has performed four runs with the Honeywell HTS900-2 turboshaft on the prototype to test all systems except for dynamic ones, as the gearboxes were disconnected during these trials. Three of the runs lasted more than 45 minutes, Sénès said, and the fuel, hydraulic, electric and avionics systems were tested. Meanwhile, the rotor head is being tested with the main gearbox on the “whirl tower” test bench.

The second prototype will be completed by November and the third, a conforming example, will be rolled out in the first quarter of next year. Sénès also said production and procurement organizations are being set up. Certification of the 5,840-pound mtow helicopter is expected in next year’s second half.