How's How's this for a nice toy?
photo: Robert Wall
Olivier Gensse, the test pilot of this Cabri seemed delighted to show it off at the French defense ministry's pre-Paris air show briefing for the media. At a mere €260,000 (the cost of a fancy sports car maybe?) and with only 180 litres of fuel you could get from the north to the south of France in a mere five hours cruising at 100 knots with this tiny helicopter. He showed me the luggage storage area (big enough for a weekend bag!) and pulled out the small wheels which just clip onto the skids which then allows you to push it with one finger into its hangar (or your garage).
In fact it was designed by Bruno Guimbal, a former Eurocopter engineer, not only as a personal helicopter but also to be used as an unmanned air vehicle. “You cannot just switch the same helicopter from manned to unmanned,” Gensse explained, “but the platform for both versions is the same.”
Earlier he gave us a stunning air display with it over the Mediterranean which had a whole bicycle outing stopped in their tracks.
Test pilot Olivier Gensse gives the Colibri some perspective
photo: Christina Mackenzie