Staff Writer (Updated: 9/1/2016):
The Panther maintains a sleek appearance from nose to tail. The cockpit is situated well-forward in the design with excellent visibility through the glazed forward fuselage. The base crew of two - pilot and co-pilot - enter/exit the aircraft through a pair of automobile-style hinged doors along the forward fuselage sides. The passenger cabin is directly to the rear of the cockpit with variable internal arrangements available to suit mission requirements per customer. The cabin is accessed by a forward hinged swinging door and a rear-set sliding door fitted to either side of the fuselage. The engines are mounted atop the flight cabin, powering a four-bladed main rotor and a multi-bladed tail rotor housed in a "Fenestron" shroud. While the latter is a more expensive alternative to the traditionally exposed tail rotors seen on most other helicopters, it offers higher rotation speeds, basic protection from debris and enemy fire and some sound reduction qualities. The fuselage contours elegantly into the thick tail stem which sports outboard vertical tail fins, the shrouded tail rotor and a main larger vertical tail fin. The undercarriage is fully retractable and consists of a pair of main landing gear legs and a nose wheel leg. The main legs are each single-wheeled whereas the nose leg features a pair of landing wheels.