The programme development made another huge step forward with the rollout of the prototype three (P3) on 28th June 2017. Thus, in future two prototypes will be used for test flights: the prototype 2 and now also the new P3, which comes close to the serial version. Both prototypes will contribute to achieving a quicker progress to the Type Certificate. P2 flew in total already more than 50 flight hours whereof 30 alone in the last three months. If the ground tests are included into this calculation, the rotor system is already rotating for more than 100 hours. A fourth helicopter will reinforce the fleet in the first quarter of the next year. Simultaneously already today those parts are ordered for serial production, which have a delivery time of several months.
Currently there are 12 fixed purchase contracts and more than 100 international purchasing commitments. From an entrepreneurial view MSH reached important milestones in the first half-year. In Mollis we had the opportunity to celebrate the construction of the 3800 m2 production hall. With these modern facilities beyond mere production space also administration rooms as well as training and product support infrastructure will be available. A second production hall is located in Näfels. It will serve after a comprehensive modernisation and reconstruction as a logistics centre as well as for the production of cell structures and our rotor blades. One of the largest autoclaves (”baking oven” for composite parts) in Switzerland is also located in Näfels and will be ready for production in August of this year.
The personnel increased from 136 (30.06.2016) to 213 employees as of 30.06.2017, who are mainly highly specialised and qualified engineers. The continuous personnel development will be continued during the next months, mainly in the production area for preparing to serial production of the SH09 helicopter, which will start in about 20 months in Mollis and Näfels.
The management was reinforced with Michele Riccobono, Head of Flight Operations and Flight Testing, and Jan Nowacki, Chief Operating Officer. Both offer long-term experience in the European helicopter industry.