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Swiss helicopter Kopter SH09 review

Dal Kikin
February 12, 2019

Almost a year ago, the Swiss helicopter Kopter SH09 was first presented to the public. At the end of February 2018, the European Aviation Safety Agency, also called EASA, issued a design certificate of quality for the Swiss company Kopter Group, formerly known as Marenco Swisshelicopter. Obtaining a DOA (Design Organization Approval) certificate means that there will be another helicopter on the world market from a young player who already has two prototypes of the Kopter SH09 light passenger vehicle, which falls into the niche of 2.5-ton helicopters.

Let's look at SH09 more closely. An empty car weighs 1300 kg (primarily due to the use of composite materials). Maximum take-off weight - 2800 kg. But it is with a load on the external sling; with a loaded cabin - 2650 kg. The fact that the car requires a crew of one person is an additional plus, since it makes it possible to take on board the "extra" passenger or 70 kg of cargo.

The length of the aircraft is 10.2 m, the diameter of the five-blade gearless main screw of the direct thrust is 11 m. The steering 11-blade propeller with a diameter of 1.2 m is enclosed in a ring, which increases the safety of the machine. The single-engine helicopter, the power of the turboshaft Honeywell HTS900, which at the initial production stage is planned to equip the machine, is 1020 horsepower.

The cruising speed of the helicopter is 260 km / h (remember this figure). 750 liters of fuel, which can be poured into the tanks, will make it possible to cover a distance of up to 800 km. The maximum flight altitude is 4500 m above sea level (and this is without taking into account further modifications of the machine to increase the flight altitude for high-altitude operations, which is especially important for customers from South America and Asia).

The helicopter is designed for a very wide range of missions: patrol (then he will have additional fuel tanks, increased flight duration and special patrol equipment), sanitary (cabin dimensions allow installing stretchers and provide access through the rear opening under the tail boom), passenger for seven passengers , a courier service helicopter, a fire helicopter, a television news service helicopter, a specialized helicopter for extreme mountain skiers (heli-ski) and so on.

The three main advantages of the new helicopter (two prototypes of which are already flying, and mass production is scheduled to begin in 2019) are due to three factors. Firstly, the composer's materials provide greater body resistance to loads, which is especially important for patrol and rescue vehicles, and a large number of technical innovations in the design make the helicopter safer. Secondly, this model has the most modern digital filling on the market. Thirdly, the new helicopter is much more productive than the existing machines according to various characteristics: in terms of cruising speed, payload, flight range, and also it is noticeably quieter than its competitors. In addition, new technologies can significantly reduce vibration in the cabin compared with the previous generation of helicopters, which is crucial for the transport of heavy patients, who most often become passengers of sanitary helicopters.

Now the program is at the testing stage. Earlier it was reported that the third prototype of the SH09 helicopter made its first flight in July 2018. Flight tests should begin in Sicily after a three-month delay in schedule caused by problems at one of the suppliers. In the third quarter of 2018, a pre-production model of the PS04 modification was tested, the first flight of which is planned for the current year.

SH09 certification is scheduled for the first quarter of 2019 with the start of deliveries in the second half of the same year.