Marenco Swisshelicopter has successfully conducted the maiden sortie of its second flight-test SKYe SH09 light single-engined rotorcraft.

Performed at Mollis air field in Switzerland on 26 February, the 2.6t helicopter was flown by the company’s new chief test pilot Richard Trueman.

Some 14 months have elapsed since the initial flight-test article first took to the skies in October 2014, as Marenco opted to introduce design refinements, notably to the bearingless rotor head, before flying the second prototype.

The first phase of test flights for the second Honeywell HTS900-powered helicopter is now underway, with the initial trials covering hover flights at low speeds and altitude before moving on to hover flights outside ground effect at moderate speeds.

Future trials will evaluate systems and avionics, limited auto-rotations and initial performance and stability assessments. Certification of the SH09 is due at the end of 2016 or in early 2017.