The SKYe SH09 single-engine helicopter flew for the first time today in Molis, Switzerland, Marenco Swisshelicopter announced. With chief test pilot Dwayne Williams at the controls, the helicopter performed five hover flights, logging 20 minutes in the air.
The preliminary flying and handling characteristics of the aircraft have thus been confirmed, according to the start-up helicopter manufacturer. “This success has followed the extensive component testing phase and quantity of ground tests performed in the last weeks and months,” Marenco founder, designer and CEO Martin Stucki said.
The SKYe SH09 is powered by a Honeywell HTS900-2 turboshaft. With a 5,842-pound mtow, the all-composite helicopter is designed to carry one pilot and seven passengers, which positions it at the larger end of the single-engine helicopter market. Marenco says it has received orders for more than 50 of the helicopters and aims to start production in 12 to 16 months. The project was unveiled in 2011.