SCHWEIZER AIRCRAFT has begun delivery of an improved version of its Model 330 light single-turbine helicopter.

The 330SP has a larger main-rotor hub with increased-area blades, and taller landing gear. Examples have been delivered to Switzerland's Fuchs Helikopters and the San Antonio, Texas, Police Department. Several existing Model 330s are being upgraded.

Elmira, New York-based Schweizer says that the improvements increase cruise speed by 13%, specific range by 17% and specific endurance by 7%. Controllability margins are up by 10%, and the speed at which rotor roughness begins is increased by 42%. Gross weight is boosted, from 1,010kg to 1,025kg. The taller skid gear, which is an option, provides greater ground clearance for off-site landings and when carrying underfuselage sensors.

Schweizer says that the improvements make the 330SP"one of the most inherently stable, responsive and comfortable aerial platforms available". The Model 330 was introduced in 1993, and more than 20 have been delivered to date. The company also produces the Model 300C and 300CB piston-single light helicopters.

Source: Flight International