Demand for light singles and medium twins drives market as Honeywell projects 5,550 deliveries over next 11 years

Civil helicopter sales over the next five years will be 10% higher than in the past five, forecasts Honeywell. The US avionics and engines supplier projects deliveries of 2,400 turbine-powered civil helicopters during 2005-9, driven in part by increased demand for light singles and medium twins.

Sales were up 8-10% last year and are likely to rise another 4-6% this year, says Honeywell in its seventh turbine-powered civil helicopter purchase outlook. Released at this week's Heli-Expo show in Anaheim, California, the outlook projects sales will grow at an annual compounded rate of 1-2% from 2005 to 2015, for a total of 5,550 deliveries over the 11-year period.

Corporate operators are expected to account for 25% of new turbine helicopter sales projected for 2005-9, down from 29% in last year's survey. Demand in the emergency medical service (EMS) sector is up to 22% of projected deliveries from 19%. But the law enforcement market continues to shrink, from 16% to 13% of total demand, primarily because of the slow pace of US homeland-defence spending on helicopters.

Expected demand for utility helicopters remains steady at 15%, with North America accounting for 55% of forecast sales in this sector. The offshore support segment also remains steady at 10% of projected deliveries, but with regional demand as high as 21% of sales in Asia, Africa and the Middle East and 13% in Latin America.

North America dominates the demand forecast for 2005-9, accounting for 45% of expected purchases. Projected European demand is down slightly from last year's survey, at 20% of total sales, while Latin America is up to 14%. Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Oceania account for a combined 21% of forecast deliveries.

Light single-turbine helicopters remain the most popular category, making up 55% of expected purchases, while light twins account for 16% of forecast demand, compared with 25% for medium, or intermediate, twins. In North America, 70% of purchases are expected to be light singles; in more strictly regulated Europe, 70% are expected to be twins, with interest in intermediate-sized helicopters up significantly.

Civil-use demand for heavier helicopters remains relatively low, says Honeywell, slipping to 4% of projected sales from 7% in last year's survey, but is expected to be boosted by government and parapublic purchases. The forecast demand is concentrated in Asia - where heavy helicopters are expected to account for 9% of deliveries - and Europe.


Source: Flight International