An all-new helicopter, built almost entirely with composites and featuring materials provided by Switzerland's Gurit Holding AG, took its maiden flight early this month.
Mareno Swisshelicopter AG rolled out the SKYe SH09 helicopter for its first public view in November last year, claiming to be the world's first entirely new helicopter concept in more than 35 years.
The helicopter is almost entirely made from composite material and Gurit, a key prepreg supplier for the project, congratulated Mareno on its achievement in an Oct. 8 news release.
The maiden flight was “a wonderful moment for the whole Mareno team, crowning their ‘can do — will do' — mentality,” said Matthias Hucke, technical sales manager at Gurit's Kassel facility.
The helicopter can carry up to eight people, has a top cruising speed of 260 kilometers per hour (160mph) and an operating range of 800 kilometers (500 miles).
The aircraft's airframe is fully composite, plus it features an all-composite main rotor and tail rotor blades.
Swisshelicopter expects to begin production of the SKYe within the next 12 to 16 months, and said it already has 50 orders and purchase agreements for it.