Some things never go as planned. And in this instance, that is definitely the case. Composite Helicopters International was taking their first test flight with the KC-518, the first ever carbon fiber helicopter, when it crashed. Everything was caught on tape, as they were filming a promotional video. Thankfully, both the pilot and passenger on board walked away without injury.
Pilot Peter Maloney saw a turbine warning light come on and then he lost power, and as calmly as possible under the circumstances, performed a “textbook” crash-landing into water.
Composite Helipcopters International, based in New Zealand, has a team with over 25 years experience working with composite racing yachts and aviation products. But the KC-518 Adventourer is the first of its kind, a structurally engineered design. It was “designed for speed with power, agility, ruddegness and endurance to match.” They spent three years in research and development with the prototype.
The shell of KC518 is considered to be ‘monocoque’. There is no frame around which the helicopter is built. The main rotor blades and the toro blades are made entirely out of carbon fiber. This helps with lower operating costs. Another plus is that the air frame and rotor blades are not subject to erosion as they’re manufactured from carbon fiber. Another feature includes a frame-less carbon-kevlar hybrid fuselage. The company also claims it is the lowest cost of ownership of any turbine engine helicopter out there.
I am really looking forward to wherever the KC-518 Adventourer may land. (Get it?) Below is more awesome video footage of the KC-518, be sure to check it out. We will also try to keep you updated as we find more news about the KC-518 but for now if you’d like more info like specs and follow ups, be sure to check out the company website.