Marenco SwissHelicopter announced a new high-visibility cockpit (HVC) for its SKYe SH09 helicopter at Heli-Expo. The new cockpit is highly modified from the original prototype, and includes new avionics.
Unfortunately, the new cockpit option is not on display at the Dallas Heli-Expo 2012. Instead the same prototype SKYe SH09 from Heli-Expo 2011 anchors the SwissHelicopter booth (No. 4417). The helicopter first intrigued Heli-Expo 2011 attendees with the initial prototype's modular cabin. The flat floor and high ceiling provide space for multiple seating arrangements. Rear clamshell doors facilitate easy loading for cargo and EMS.
The SKYe SH09 HVC will be equipped with two of Sagem's 10-inch displays oriented vertically on a narrowed instrument console, which provides a significant increase in forward visibility through a completely retooled, now nearly all-glass nose bowl.
“We've completely redesigned the forward cockpit of this aircraft to increase its already good visibility,” said Mathias Sénès, commercial director for the company. “The new doors are all-glass, too, and bulge slightly as they arc down and under the pilot, deep into the fuselage, so as not to disrupt airflow, as a bubble window might,” he explained. Sénès said that the new doors enhance the pilot's left/right visual orientation during external-load operations.
The original design of the SKYe SH09 was expected to have a maximum take-off weight of 6,170 pounds (2,800 kg) and an augmented sling load capacity of 3,300 pounds (1,500 kg). It is designed for hot-and-high operations, where performance is critical, and should have a low-noise signature. The helicopter is expected to cruise at 140 knots (260 km/h) and has an expected range in excess of 430 nm (800 km). The company currently plans to produce the SKYe SH09 at its engineering center located near Zurich.