Marenco SKYe SH09 Program Progresses

Swiss helicopter company continues prototype development.

Marenco SKYe SH09 Program Progresses
Marenco SKYe SH09 Program ProgressesMarenco Swisshelicopter AG

Mollis, Switzerland-based Marenco Swisshelicopter AG is grinding away at the development of its all-composite SKYe SH09 helicopter. While the company had hoped to be in production by now, the entry into the market will likely take several more years to achieve.

Marenco is, however, making progress on its beautiful helicopter design. After the first flight in October 2014, the SH09 flew several test missions in early 2015 culminating in the exploration of the full first flight test envelope in March. The flight included horizontal and reverse flight.

A Marenco representative described the flight characteristics as “remarkable” and the team was impressed with the quietness of the helicopter. However, the flight test program was put on hold “due to the limited resources of the team.” Instead the team has focused on making improvements and developing the second prototype (P2). Improvements made to P2 will be retrofit to the first prototype before flight testing will resume.

Development plans also call for the construction of P3, which will be the SKYe SH09 type certificate-conforming prototype. Marenco also plans to develop the infrastructure for the production assembly line this year.

Last year, Marenco started a project that involves its launch customers in the development process. To help Marenco create a helicopter that fits their needs, the launch customers will provide feedback during the development and, once they receive their helicopters, they will collect data and record parameters of their missions to help the company improve upon its product.