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Since the resumption of the test flight activities in June in Pozzallo, Sicily, Kopter’s third prototype (P3) has completed 40 flights, allowing testing of multiple aerodynamic modifications and configurations. The current configuration fitted on P3 has seen a significant improvement in smoothness and stability.
Recent upgrades include an engine cowling extension for improved aerodynamics, a variable asymmetric tail plane at the best available incidence, the removal of the end plates and a larger upper vertical fin improving stability.
“P3 returns to Mollis a very different aircraft. The changes that have been implemented this year have made a real improvement to the handling of the aircraft. Now we are able to further expand the envelope and start to realize the aircraft’s true potential,” said Richard Grant, Kopter chief test pilot.
This most recent block of flight tests has been the most productive in terms of the number of modifications assessed and the general improvements realized. Early analysis and observations confirm the validity of the new design concepts. This achievement is a result of the work of all teams involved, utilizing the analysis and feedback from all the previous flight test blocks of P3. The SH09 is closer to reaching the planned overall performance and capabilities as development moves ahead.