Italian manufacturer Curti has brought its Zefhir two-place turbine kit helicopter to EAA AirVenture and is taking orders. During the show kits will be available for $500,000 with a $50,000 deposit required. Post-show the price will increase to $600,000.
The Zefhir features an emergency whole helicopter parachute system, developed with Junkers Profly, mounted atop the main rotor mast, and crashworthy seats. It is powered by a Czech PBSVB 241-shp turbine derated to 141 shp with dual-channel Fadec, has a cruising speed of 87 knots, and a maximum range of 172 nm on its standard 40-gallon fuel tanks. The engine has been bench tested for more than five years and has accumulated 5,000 running hours, according to the company. Range increases to 344 nm with the addition of a 36-gallon auxiliary fuel tank. Mtow is 1,540 pounds. Service ceiling is 15,500 feet. The 52-inch wide cockpit is designed to accommodate two, 200-pound occupants, said Jeff Magnus, Curti’s business development director. There is also an 11 cubic foot baggage hold aft of the cockpit.
In business for 60 years, Curti is a diversified industrial conglomerate with revenues of $150 million. Its aerospace division is a long-time supplier of Leonardo Helicopters. Curti developed the Zefhir with financial assistance from the European Union’s “Disrupt” project and was first announced in 2016. It made its public debut at Germany’s Aero Friedrichshafen in 2018.
Magnus said Curti has agreements with three dealers in the U.S. that will provide builder support as well as a flight training contract. He added that, upon completion of assembly, all helicopters first will be test flown by a Curti factory representative. Magnus said the kits are largely assembly projects with little, if any, primary fabrication required. The factory estimates assembly time at two to four weeks and a 900-page manual is provided to aid in the process.