Forecasts by Honeywell and Rolls-Royce both signal a bright outlook for the rotorcraft sector after used aircraft inventories decline this year and companies begin placing orders for new aircraft next year.
Honeywell's 13th turbine-powered civilian helicopter purchase outlook report, compiled based on interviews with more than 1,000 chief pilots and flight department managers, reveals that expectations for new aircraft ordering for the next two years are up 40% from last year's expectations, "suggesting the recovery will gain momentum starting next year".
Looking ahead five years, Honeywell says fleet replacement and expansion plans increased to 25.4%, up from 24.9% in 2010. "Although modest, the increase concludes a two-year period of declining," the company says.
Purchases are expected to be split 50-50 between the Americas and Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, with Latin America having the highest fleet replacement and expansion expectations of all world regions. Light singles appear to be the most popular for acquisitions, accounting for 45% of all make/model mentions, slightly down from the five-year average of 49%, says Honeywell.
Most frequently mentioned singles were the Eurocopter AS350B series, Bell 407 and Robinson R66, says Honeywell, adding that 23% of the participants mentioned purchasing light twins.
Honeywell's forecast, which calls for the delivery of as many as 4,400 civilian turbine helicopters in the next five years, is similar in magnitude to Rolls-Royce's 10-year forecast, which calls for 10,900 civil rotorcraft deliveries valued at $34 billion over the period.