RotorWay To Develop Certified Two-place Helicopter

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RotorWay International, based in Chandler, Ariz., has sold more than 900 kits for small homebuilt helicopters, and now is starting development of a certified version. "We see a large opening in the market for a larger, two-seat, 21st-century helicopter with a sensible price," said CEO Grant Norwitz. The project is underway at RotorWay's facility in South Africa. The company will seek European certification first, then move on to the FAA. "We know there are many steps toward certification, and we know we are taking only the first step," Norwitz said. "We also know how important it is to take that first step. We have committed, here and now, to pursuing that goal." Changes expected on the certified RotorWay, besides a larger interior space, might include more power and more-robust gear. RotorWay already builds a FADEC engine, and has announced upgrades to avionics such as a glass-cockpit display in the newest kits. Additionally, the certified RotorWay will incorporate engineering changes intended to make the machines easier to maintain, the company said.