The 2 seat Ultrasport 555T turbine helicopter was developed from the piston engined Sportscopter 600 and is the brainchild of Dick Sybrandy who is based at Manaia in Taranaki. In my previous post on Sportscopters of New Zealand I mentioned that Dick Sybrandy acquired the Sportscopter 600 ZK-HJY2 after it was cancelled from the register on 9/10/00. He formed Ultrasport Helicopters NZ Ltd in September 2010 and I understand from Dick that ZK-HJY2 was developed into the Ultrasport 555T turbine helicopter and it formed the basis of the second Ultrasport 555T ZK-ITK. Then Dick Sybrandy formed a new company Auroa Helicopters and I understand he is still working on helicopter development.
The Ultrasport 555T helicopter is of steel tube and composite construction and is powered by a Solar T62-32 turbine engine of 160 HP which gives a respectable cruise speed of 150km/hr (81 knots). Its has an empty weight of 310 Kg (683 pounds) and a MAUW of 600 Kg (1,320 pounds).
We have had four Ultrasport 555T helicopters registered in New Zealand to date, as follows:4 (c/n UH 001) which was registered to Dick Sybrandy of Manaia on 23/7/10. It suffered damage on 17/11/10 at Kapuni when it lost power on takeoff due to fuel contamination but it was repaired. It was cancelled on 20/8/15 as exported.