Enstrom Helicopters flew its new two-seat TH180 piston single for the first time on Friday. Following a 30-minute ground run, the TH180 made a 30-minute flight, during which the helicopter performed a series of basic maneuvers, including pedal turns, and maintained altitudes below 1,000 feet agl.
The TH180 is a scaled-down version of the company’s 280FX three-seat model and uses its type certificate and rotor system. It is powered by a 210-hp naturally aspirated Lycoming HIO-390 engine. Compared with the 280, the TH180 has more robust landing gear and weighs 500 pounds less—about 2,250 pounds maximum gross weight.
Enstrom’s TH180 also features a GS Engineering engine governor and an electric clutch switch. Company officials said the TH180 should post direct operating costs of $175 per hour and burn less than 12 gallons of fuel per hour. While Enstrom has yet to set a price, director of sales and marketing Orlando Alaniz said he is confident that the helicopter will cost less than $400,000.