Heli Air Design’s Helineo turbine-powered, two-seat helicopter made its first flight on April 26, the company announced last month. In rainy weather, test pilot Stéphane Ligier performed a series of 15 takeoffs and flights in ground effect at Metz Nancy Lorraine airport (see video). The helicopter performed as expected, the company said. First flight had initially been pegged for July last year.
Flight-testing will explore the envelope with the goal of obtaining CNSK 2 experimental kit assembly approval. This will be a first step, according to Heli Air Design, a subsidiary of precision manufacturing specialist Serolor, as it seeks financial partners to launch the construction of two more prototypes and the start of a full certification program.
The aircraft is an all-composite design, although the first prototype has some metal in the tailboom. The turboshaft is a 160-shp Solar T62 T-32. The T62 is known mostly as an auxiliary power unit and is available only on the second-hand market.
For the Helineo, Heli Air Design claims a cruise speed of 90 knots and an empty weight of 660 pounds. The target price for a complete aircraft is €250,000 ($325,000).