New president Jerry Mullins believes it is time for company "to step up to the line" as other manufacturers struggle

Enstrom Helicopter plans to produce 32 aircraft next year, if it overcomes late-payment problems delaying delivery of 480B single- turbine helicopters to the Indonesian National Police. This is lower than the 40 deliveries Enstrom had planned, but almost twice the 17 aircraft delivered last year and well up on the seven produced in 2002.

"If we can resolve the Indonesian cashflow issue, we could get close to 40," says new president and chief executive Jerry Mullins. Four of the 18 aircraft ordered by Indonesia in July last year were complete or near-complete by December, of which two have been in-country since July, and Enstrom is negotiating a new delivery schedule, says Mullins.

The Indonesian order, won against competition from Eurocopter and Schweizer (Flight International, 8-14 July 2003), would provide much-needed cashflow. "If we get to 40 we will sell them all," says Mullins. "There is a lot of demand and we are limited by our growth, which takes a lot of capital."

Mullins, formerly president and chief executive of helicopter modification specialist Heli-Dyne Systems, arrived at Menominee, Michigan-based Enstrom last month, tasked with "getting the company to give a good return for the owner". He took over from Peter Parsinen, who had acted as interim president since the firing of Steve Daniels in April last year after barely a year as chief executive.

"I think there is a tremendous market for the helicopters," says Mullins, citing law enforcement and pilot training as sectors with potential. "With the struggles of other manufacturers, it's time for Enstrom to step up to the line." The company builds the aircraft "from start to finish", he says.

Mullins is reviewing Enstrom's dealer network in a bid to improve support. He plans to revisit the company's joint venture with Wuhan Helicopters to assemble helicopters in China. "It's not making much progress because of cash problems. I think it is a lucrative market, but it may need additional investment to get up and running."

Source: Flight International