Kopter Tests New Main Rotor Head, Blades on SH09

 - January 24, 2020, 11:57 AM
Kopter's third prototype is testing the new main rotor head and blades as the company is finalizing configuration. (Photo: Kopter)

Swiss helicopter developer Kopter made further steps toward final configuration of its light single-turbine SH09 with the flight tests of its new main rotor configuration on its third SH09 prototype (P3), including a modified main rotor head and new main rotor blades, it announced today. The new configuration was tested late last year in its whirltower in Ennetmoos, Switzerland, and installed on P3 in Pozzallo, Italy where Kopter has conducted its SH09 flight-test program since March 2019. Kopter had conducted flight tests of a revised main gearbox (MGB) on P3 last year.

With initial ground runs and flights of the main rotor configuration completed, Kopter said the expected improvements—part of an ongoing configuration update—have been confirmed. “The results of these first flights confirm our aircraft evolution roadmap is meeting the expectations,” said Kopter CTO Michele Riccobono. The new main rotor head optimizes improves handling qualities and reduces pilot workload in all phases of flight through the optimization of “dynamic behavior,” the company said. In addition, the blades are expected to improve high altitude to high weight performance.

“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,” added Kopter chief test pilot Richard Grant. Full performance evaluations are ongoing.