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KOPTER GROUP IGNORES DOWNTURN


Downturn? What downturn? For Kopter Group, formerly Marenco Swisshelicopter, attention is not on the current economy at all, but rather on bringing the company’s SKYe SH09 multi- purpose, light single-engine composite helicopter to market.


Under development since 2009, the carbon composite SKYe SH09 can carry five to eight people, has rear clamshell doors, and a flexibly configurable large cabin. At present Kopter has two working prototypes (P2 and P3; P1 having been retired) in test flight mode, and a third helicopter (PS4) is being built for EASA type certification tests in 2018. The company’s goal is to start production by mid-2018 and begin delivering finished SH09s in 2019.


“When it comes to our helicopter, we see the market for sales becoming more robust,” Kopter CEO Andreas Löwenstein said. “This is because the SH09’s clean sheet design gives customers a roomy twin-engine-type cabin


on a single helicopter platform, with lots of outside visibility and interior space.” He added that the SH09 features fully redundant hydraulic and electrical systems, making it more akin to a twin-engine helicopter in high safety standards than a single engine.


At present, Kopter has “close to 30


SH09s” on firm orders or precontracts to 10 customers, with memorandums of understandings (“I call them prearrangements,” Löwenstein said) for an additional 118 helicopters. “I would say this gives us quite a good starting point for beginning production in 2018,” Löwenstein said.


As for potential customers for the SH09? “We are targeting EMS, law enforcement, and tourism, among other sectors,” Löwenstein replied. “The SH09’s spacious layout and easily reconfigurable cabin,


plus its safety features and low operating costs, make it a economical alternative even to traditional twins.”


rotorcraftpro.com


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