Fresh off Tuesday's announcement of a planned acquisition by Italy's Leonardo, Swiss helicopter manufacturer Kopter accumulated more orders and options for its SH09 light single on Wednesday at Heli-Expo.
Washington-based utility operator Rainier Heli International opted to add five purchase options to its initial March 2018 memorandum of agreement to acquire five SH09s with five options. "If the performance and operational costs of the SH09 play out as advertised, we see a definite role for the SH09 in our operation and we look forward with anticipation toward certification and to the eventual delivery of the SH09 into our fleet," said Rainier President Richard "Lash" Larew.
Also, Kopter announced a purchase agreement with Philippines operator INAEC for one SH09 with one option, marking Kopter's first orders from that country. INAEC plans to use the helicopter for the Ascent urban air mobility rideshare operation launched last year in Manila.
"In line with our continued focus on safe and reliable air services at high operational standards for even the most demanding of missions, we are excited to welcome the SH09 into our growing fleet," said INAEC general manager Aldi Dexter Ampong. "This new generation of aircraft will enable us to achieve our operational objectives and bring flying experiences to greater heights."
"The SH09 combines the latest safety technologies with unique features such as a full carbon composite airframe, flexible transport configurations, and improved cost and fuel efficiency, making the SH09 a great fit for the demanding requirements of urban air mobility," added Ascent Founder and CEO Lionel Sinai-Sinelnikoff. "We believe this agreement will provide an elevated experience to our users."
Kopter targets joint EASA/FAA certification for the carbon composite SH09 by the end of this year, an effort company officials say is bolstered by the helicopter's relatively simple and largely finalized design, as well as the anticipated capabilities and certification expertise Leonardo is bringing to the table.