27-Jan-2020 Source: Kopter
Kopter pursues its flight test campaign in Sicily with its 3rd prototype (P3) having now reached more than 100 flights and being now equipped with a modified main rotor head and the next generation of main rotor blades.
Both were successfully tested at the end of last year on the company’s whirltower in Ennetmoos, Switzerland. These have now been installed on P3 in Pozzallo where Kopter has established its flight test activities since March 2019.
This upgrade package is part of a scheduled configuration evolution towards the final optimization of the production aircraft.
After an initial set of ground runs and flights have been completed, all the expected improvements have been confirmed.
“The results of these first flights confirm our aircraft evolution roadmap is meeting the expectations and increase our confidence on the timely achievement of our product development targets”, Kopter CTO, Michele Riccobono, declared after having flown the upgraded P3.
The new main rotor head architecture optimizes the dynamic behavior particularly in the handling qualities further reducing the pilot workload in all phases of flight.
“These recent modifications have addressed some characteristics we wanted to improve. Now, the aircraft is smoother and more stable, making it even easier to fly.”, said Richard Grant, Kopter Chief Test Pilot, right after the first flight of this new configuration on P3.
The next generation of main rotor blades is expected to improve the performance at high altitude and high weight.
The full performance evaluation is the subject of the ongoing flight test campaign.