Enstrom TH180 successfully completes first flight
March 4, 2015 By Enstrom Helicopters
March 4, 2015, Orlando, Fla. - Enstrom Helicopter Corporation has announced that the newest member of its family, the TH180, successfully completed ground run and first flight on February 6, 2015 at its facilities in Menominee, Michigan.
“This is a milestone achievement for Enstrom and we look forward to continuing our flight test program as move toward the certification program” said Tracy Biegler, Enstrom President & CEO. The flight plan included a tied-down ground run followed by a flight plan that included hover and a series of first flight maneuvers such as sideward, forward and rearward flight maneuvers. “Its rugged frame, robust landing gear, and very forgiving handling qualities are a great combination for hands-on learning,” said Bill Taylor, Director of Engineering and Chief Test Pilot. “They provide wide margins of safety for student confidence.” As Bill said after completing first flight of the TH180, “It flies just like an Enstrom!”
Enstrom also showcased the TH180 flight test helicopter at the Helicopter Association International Heli-Expo in Orlando, Florida, March 3, 2015. “Enstrom unveiled the TH180 mockup at last year’s Heli-Expo, and one year later we are showcasing the actual flight test helicopter,” said Orlando Alaniz, Director of Sales & Marketing. “If all goes as planned, production deliveries should begin early next year.” Designed as a training helicopter, the TH180 is based on Enstrom’s solid reputation for safety and customer support with additional focus on and ease of learning with the student in mind. With few life-limited parts and superb customer and technical support, the TH180 boasts ease of maintenance and low operating costs. Rotor gearboxes are exchanged on an overhaul basis, and over ninety percent of parts are shipped within 24 hours, meaning less time spent on the ground. In addition, the TH180 is powered by a Lycoming HIO-390, providing engine reliability for this helicopter’s training applications.
“In the first few months of 2015, Longhorn Helicopters successfully incorporated two F28F/F280FX model helicopters into our training fleet. We could not be more pleased with the results,” said Justin Munroe, Director of Operations for Longhorn Helicopters, a 141/135 operation based in Denton, Texas. “Enstrom’s product support has been unparalleled and our customer responses have been overwhelmingly enthusiastic. Enstrom’s existing product line has exceeded our expectations and we are anxiously awaiting the opportunity to put the new TH180 into service.”
“The flight instructor will experience quality training and comfort with the student pilot and the TH180 will be an economical addition to any training fleet,” said Orlando Alaniz, Director of Sales and Marketing. In addition, the TH180 is on the radar of various domestic and international training schools, and inquiries continue to pour in for the new model.