The TH180 has been designed exclusively for training, with such features as a piston engine, roomy cabin, energy-absorbing landing gear, and basic instrument panel. New Enstrom CEO Tracy Biegler said safety is the top selling point. “This is going to be a very forgiving training aircraft,” he said.
In terms of volume, the industry’s top trainer is the Robinson R22, followed by the Sikorsky 300. Biegler said the new TH180 will fit perfectly into its niche of a relatively high inertia three-bladed rotor system. He sees potential for hundreds of new helicopters a year.
With an optional glass panel display, the basic helicopter comes in just shy of $400,000.
The aircraft’s first flight is expected in the summer and certification is planning for next year. The company already has two launch customers.