Enstrom Helicopter's TH180 training helicopter program suffered a setback in February of 2016 when the prototype aircraft went down. Fortunately, the pilots on board were uninjured, but the flight test program was halted until late May of that same year.
At Heli-EXPO in Dallas this year, Bill Taylor, Test Pilot and Senior Technical Fellow for Enstrom Helicopter, told ANN CEO and Editor in Chief Jim Campbell that now, Entstrom has submitted all of the design data for the TH180 to the FAA, and it is currently doing stress analysis reports. Structural tests are also underway, he said and some flight test plans have been approved by the agency.
Taylor said that the company is still planning to have certification for the TH180 in hand by the end of 2017.
Taylor said that the TH180 will be targeted primarily at the training market. He said that the number of helicopters appropriate for training has shrunk in recent years. Taylor said that Enstrom believes that a training aircraft should be safe and forgiving, and the TH180 has those qualities. "Our goal was to get it smaller, lighter, and reduce the operating costs and maintain the real forgiving qualities and safety aspects."
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