In February, the Enstrom Helicopter N180TH, the prototype TH-180, experienced a mechanical problem and made a forced landing.
During the landing, the rotor struck a wooden utility pole destroying the main rotor blades. Investigation showed that a piece of flight test instrumentation in the main drive system failed, disconnecting the engine from the drive train.
Enstrom (Stand 12G29) has resumed flight testing of the aircraft. Test pilot William Taylor took the second prototype, the N181TH, through a standard production-type acceptance, including hover and forward-flight checks. Taylor said: “Now we can resume certification. The market needs a robust, forgiving trainer.”
Enstrom’s third TH-180 flight test vehicle is in production. Enstrom is focused on an accelerated certification flight test schedule. R&WI