Recent upgrades include an engine cowling extension for improved aerodynamics, a variable asymmetric tail plane at the best available incidence, the removal of the end plates and a larger upper vertical fin improving stability.
Richard Grant, Kopter Chief Test Pilot, commented: “P3 returns to Mollis a very different aircraft. The changes that have been implemented this year have made a real improvement to the handling of the aircraft. Now we are able to further expand the envelope and start to realize the aircraft’s true potential.”
The company said that this most recent block of flight tests had been the most productive in terms of the number of modifications assessed and the general improvements realized. Early analysis and observations have confirmed the validity of the new design concepts, utilizing the analysis and feedback from all the previous flight test blocks of P3.
On return to Mollis, the test priorities are to explore the capabilities of the new tail rotor and the recent aerodynamic modifications throughout the low speed envelope. The company said: “We will then proceed with the upgrade to Garmin avionics and then of the final main rotor head and flight controls.”
Kopter has been operating since 2009 and was primarily based in Switzerland. In April this year, the company was bought by Leonardo.