The Warsaw Institute of Aviation rolled out the first prototype of its IS-2 light two-seat helicopter last week, following 10 years' development. Further development and certification of the helicopter, however, has been put in doubt due to a lack of funding.

The 135kW (170hp) Textron Lycoming IO-360-powered aircraft is designed to provide basic training for both the civilian and military markets.

The IS-2 has a three-blade main rotor with composite blades. The tail is a compromise between conventional non-ducted rotor and ducted fan, with a small rotor housed inside the fin. The primarily composite structure has reduced the maximum take-off weight to 790kg (1,740lb), which the institute hopes will be suitable for aerial highway surveillance work. The 8.7m (26ft)-long aircraft has a maximum cruising speed of 95kt (175km/h) and a range of 400km (215nm). The cockpit is equipped with standard flight instruments for visual flight rules operations and will have dual flight controls as standard.

The programme initially attracted heavy state support from Polish scientific research committee, KBN, but now new investors must be found to complete development and certification. PZL Swidnik, which jointly carried out the development work, is thought to be interested in acquiring the design rights, as the IS-2 could compete with its own light helicopter, the SW-4, which is soon to receive certification (Flight International, 21-27 May). The domestic market for the $120,000 IS-2 is estimated at over 200 for the next 12-15 years.

The prototype is undergoing dynamic tests to establish design characteristics before ground testing, which is due to start by the end of this year. Components have already undergone successful tests.

Source: Flight International