Not even a year after SKYe SH09 was officially rolled out last November and presented to the public, the ground-breaking new composite helicopter has successfully completed its maiden flight on October 2, 2014 at Mollis Airport/Switzerland. SKYe is the world’s first entirely new helicopter concept in over 35 years. Marenco Swisshelicopter AG has taken a fresh look at what helicopters could and especially should be like today. Rethinking the whole concept paved the way to unique features that make SKYe a truly versatile, multi-purpose next-generation craft.
Designing SKYe included a fresh look at building materials: SKYe SH09 is almost entirely built in composites. As a key prepreg supplier to this project, Gurit congratulates Marenco Swisshelicopter on the successful maiden flight of their craft. “At Gurit, we are all excited about the news! It’s a wonderful moment for the whole Marenco team, crowning their “can do – will do” mentality. We are also proud to have had the chance to contribute to this truly new chapter in aeronautics and wish Marenco Swisshelicopter all the best for the commercialisation of SKYe”, says Matthias Hucke, Technical Sales Manager at Gurit (Kassel).
Martin Stucki, Designer, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Marenco Swisshelicopter was pleased that first flight had confirmed the expected flying and handling characteristics of the aircraft: “This is a key milestone in the development of our program, following extensive component tests and ground tests performed over the last weeks and months”. Mathias Senes, Chief Commercial Officer of Marenco Swisshelicopter, added: “SKYe SH09 is scheduled to enter in production within the next 12 to 16 months. Marenco Swisshelicopter AG already holds over 50 orders and agreements on the aircraft.”
With a maximum takeoff weight of 2.65 t, a fast cruise speed of 260 km/h and a range of operation of 800 km, SKYe offers a flexible engine performance, a low-noise signature and a modular, multipurpose cabin. Its flat floor and high ceiling concept offer various seating arrangements for up to eight people and/or a lot of flexible payload. The SKYe SH09 features a full composite airframe as well as an all-composite main rotor and tail rotor blades; it is equipped with glass cockpit avionics systems and the powerful HTS-900-2 engine by Honeywell.