Kopter Group AG has obtained the technical clearance and regulatory compliance to begin the flight tests of the third prototype (P3) of its SH09 helicopter program. Designed and assembled in the Kopter facility at Mollis airport, Switzerland, the P3 incorporates several improvements and modifications which benefits from the previous P1 and P2 flight tests results.

The P3 took off from Mollis airfield on November 22nd, 2018, for a 40-minute flight and successfully completed its first flight test program which included maneuvers to obtain preliminary flight data, validate test design features, and evaluate flight qualities.

“P3 demonstrated excellent handling characteristics today, I expect Kopter to make rapid progress in development of the SH09” reported shortly after the flight Richard Trueman, the Kopter’s Chief Test Pilot.

Michele Riccobono, Kopter’s Chief Technical Officer and Head of Flight Operations, who was on board the aircraft together with Adam Reynolds, Chief Flight Test Engineer, said : “I am very pleased with P3, the Kopter design team have developed this latest SH09 to bring forward Kopter development and certification activity over the coming months, with P3, we have a key tool for this task”.

While the P3 will carry out an intensive flight test campaign in Sicily, the Kopter team in Mollis will prepare the next prototype, the Pre-Series number 4 (PS4). In 2019, the PS4 will join the P3 in Sicily to undertake flight tests. In addition to its essential contribution to the development aircraft, the Mollis team will set its future focus on upgrading the existing facility into a fully operational commercial production center.

“I am proud of the Kopter team and its ability to develop the next generation single engine rotorcraft. With P3 we are set on the path towards delivery to our customers” said Andreas Lowenstein, Kopter Chief Executive Officer.