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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Serolor to Offer Kit-Built Light Helo

By Thierry Dubois

Serolor, which so far has specialized in precision parts for the automotive sector, claims to have the right skills to design a helicopter.
France-based Serolor has started building a prototype of a two-seater for the kit-built market. The small company, the main business of which is in automotive precision parts, wants to diversify and was promoting its concept at Helitech 2010. The HAD 1-T helicopter features a three-blade main rotor, a turboshaft and an mtow close to 1,500 pounds. Serolor officials insist on this last peculiarity—the aircraft is not an ultralight. The prototype is at the assembly stage in Fameck. First flight is expected by year-end. “We have the right skills to design and manufacture complex components such as the main gearbox,” said Patrick Kuban, one of the project executives. In the mid term, Serolor will probably create a dedicated subsidiary, Heli Air Design, for the HAD 1-T. Designers estimate that the HAD 1-T’s operating costs should be below EUR300 ($420). This compares favorably to a minimum EUR350 ($490) with a conventional two-seater, according to Kuban. A turboshaft is easier to maintain than a piston engine, he emphasized. The turbine may well be the main challenge in the project. The Solar T62 T-32 is no longer in production. It is an APU, still in service on some military helicopters. Serolor is thus looking for second-hand APUs to use as engines. (From December 2010 Rotorcraft Report)


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