Kopter’s P3 is flying high

Kopter's SH09, 'P3', undergoes flight testing in Sicily
Kopter's SH09, 'P3', undergoes flight testing in Sicily.

Back in March, swiss helicopter manufacturer Kopter transferred its third prototype (P3) to Pozzallo in Sicily – along with 20 flight test engineers, pilots and mechanics – to set up an additional flight test base, and the aircraft has since completed 34 flights and amassed 100 flight test hours.

“Pozzallo provides the perfect operational conditions to conduct the SH09 intensive flight test campaign needed in the frame of certification. It offers very limited restrictions and favourable 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,” the company wrote in a press release.

In the Sicilian testing environment, the SH09 aircraft has been exposed to altitudes up to 10,000 feet and speeds of up to 135 knots, and during all of the testing, Kopter stated, “P3 performed as expected and generated a large volume of valuable data that is being used to finalise the design of the serial production SH09.” The company noted that the next stage of the flight test campaign will see P3 going higher, faster and further, and that the target deadline for EASA certification is 2020.