Heli-Expo 2018: Kop a load of this (video)
The Swiss flying pocket knife is how Kopter, formerly Marenco Swisshelicopter, wants its inaugural aircraft type to be perceived by customers around the world.
The decade-old business behind the design, development and production of the light, single-engine SKYe SH09 recently celebrated its maturation into an OEM. The company's CEO Andreas Loewenstein has bold aspirations for the future.
‘Our ambition is very simple. We want to be among the three leading helicopter manufacturers in the world within the next ten years… We want to be known in the world as the Swiss flying pocket knife. This is the symbol for what people will think about us in the future.,' he stated.
Speaking at the launch of the company’s rebrand in Mollis, Switzerland, on 1 February, he added: ‘We were an engineering company and we are becoming, I would say today, a fully fledged helicopter manufacturer.’
A full mock-up of P2 configured for medical operations will be on display at HAI Heli-Expo 2018. The model, developed with Metro Aviation, will provide the market with a good idea of what the series aircraft will look like.
Its capacity to carry up to seven passengers plus the pilot, its sling-load capacity of 1,500kg and range of 800km with a cruise speed of 140kt places the single-engine platform at the top of the 2.5t class.
‘At a cost of $3.3 million, it offers more payload, passengers, speed, range and safety features than others in its class,’ Loewenstein claimed.
‘This aircraft is totally suitable to the higher end of the light single segment and the lower end of the light twin segment. We are basically tackling a market segment where you have some 100 machines per year to conquer.'
On 21 February, Kopter announced it had received Design Organisation Approval from EASA. The award will help the company with its eligibility for the type certification of the SH09 expected next year.