Kopter is finalizing the design of its Pre-Series 4 (PS4) SH09 helicopter and will start the build-up of that aircraft in the next few months. Compared with the Swiss company's three previous SH09 prototypes, PS4 will have a larger cabin capable of carrying an additional eighth passenger as a result of a redesign of the fuel tank system.
According to Kopter, the SH09’s mtow has been increased to 2,850 kg (6,283 pounds) and to 3,000 kg (6,613 pounds) for external loads. PS4 will be used in the flight-test program to develop the different mission configurations of the SH09, as well as to evaluate avionics, cabin interiors, and optional equipment.
Meanwhile, Kopter's third SH09 prototype (P3) has completed more than 50 hours of testing at the company’s Mollis, Switzerland headquarters and will soon be moved to its new flight-test base in Pozallo, Sicily, the company announced this morning. Flight-test milestones achieved with P3 to date include climbing to an altitude of 5,000 feet and a forward speed of 126 knots and maneuvers, including turns, autorotations, and short-field takeoff and landing profiles.
Michele Riccobono, Kopter chief technical officer, said the Sicily flight-test campaign with P3 will enable the company to “complete the final optimization of our aircraft and freeze the configuration for the baseline type certificate.”