During a ceremony on the 1st February, Marenco Swisshelicopter (MSH) rebranded its name into Kopter. This change of identity along with a new logo, is according to the company’s CEO, Andreas Lowenstein, “an important marker for the transition from an engineering company to a helicopter manufacturer. It means, an industrialist capable to meet the demand of the entire market; able to assist the lifecycle of a machine, from its design through its production and its technical support and maintenance to our customers“. This transformation is the fruit of a long reflection initiated a year ago with the arrival of the new CEO and a rethinking of MSH’s identity to make it become a real actor of the rotorcraft industry.
A total of six months will have been necessary to express the new spirit of the industrialist into the new Kopter No. 1. In addition to being internationally understood and identifiable, this name “marks the Swiss roots of the company and the values which refer to the world, such as reliability, solidity and precision” says A. Lowenstein, adding: “Kopter also reflects modernity because we are innovative. We have been working on the image we need to give on the different markets we would like to cover. And this name was also designed to enable us to implement the company under a unified entity, Kopter Group, especially for our subsidiaries in Germany and soon in the United States and Asia.”
Through this second “start” and its complete immersion into the helicopter industry, the manufacturer originally from Mollis also inaugurated two new buildings on the same day, including its new headquarters based in Wetzikon. The 2,500 m² building will also include engineering offices and integration laboratories. “A modern building created in a cooperative spirit with a helicopter in the center of the building” underlines Lowenstein. In addition to this building, the industrialist also inaugurated the final assembly site in Mollis of more than 4,000 m².
The CEO of Kopter also indicated that the company will have new facilities in Näsfl within a year after the construction of a 14,000 m² production plant. Fortified by these investments, Kopter also reported on the progress of the SH09 program. The P3 prototype currently being assembled, is expected to complete its maiden flight before the end of the first quarter. The testing program which currently includes two machines, 70 flight tests and several thousand hours of ground testing, is expected to accelerate in the forthcoming months with the arrival of a fourth aircraft: a pre-production SH09 called PS4. According to the helicopter manufacturer, the tests with four SH09s should lead to the certification and delivery of the first units in 2019.