Kopter SH09. Photo courtesy of Kopter
Kopter’s third prototype SH09 has flown nearly three dozen test sorties and spent about 100 hours off the ground since reaching Sicily in March.
The aircraft, dubbed P3, was transferred to Pozzallo, Italy in March.
“Pozzallo provides the perfect operational conditions to conduct the SH09 intensive flight test campaign needed in the frame of certification,” a Kopter spokesperson said in a statement. “It offers very limited restrictions and favorable weather conditions throughout the year, while giving the opportunity to experience a demanding climate with hot temperatures, high humidity, strong winds and a salty atmosphere.”
Since its arrival, the flight test crew performed 34 flights with P3, allowing the aircraft to reach around 100 flight test hours. In that timeframe, the first major inspection has been carried out successfully, the company says.
“During all flights, P3 performed as expected and generated a large volume of valuable data that are being used to finalize the design of the serial production SH09,” Kopter says.
The next phase of the flight test campaign, “after implementing some aerodynamic refinements further improving P3 handling qualities and the retrofit of the main gear box housing, will see P3 going higher, faster and further.”
That testing will contribute to data needed to finalize the configuration of pre-series aircrafts 4 and 5 (PS4 & PS5), which will contribute to the certification flights next year.
Next year, 2020, remains the target for EASA certification.