Helicopter Report

FlightGlobal takes a look at the latest product developments across the various segments of the helicopter market.

  • Arguably the most competitive part of the helicopter market, the light-single segment is, however, not necessarily blessed with the most modern designs. Nonetheless, new models are in development which will bring innovation to the sector.
  • While not selling in the same quantities as their lighter siblings, light-twin helicopters play a significant role in society, notably in law enforcement and emergency medical services missions.
  • Heading up the weight range means these medium-class helicopters are more capable but more complex – and come with a bigger price ticket. Despite this, there are big sellers in this category, alongside new entrants.
  • A few years ago there were many forecasts that the new super-medium-class helicopters would sell by the bucket-load. This has not quite come to pass, although those operating the rotorcraft in this weight class have used their performance benefits to push into new markets.
  • Heavy-twins sit at the top of each manufacturer’s range and while a downturn in oil and gas services has hurt sales in some cases, interest from the search and rescue operators has remained strong.

505-c-Bell

New models set to bring fresh competition to light-single helicopter segment

Arguably the most competitive part of the helicopter market, the light-single segment is, however, not necessarily blessed with the most modern designs. Nonetheless, new models are in development which will bring innovation to the sector.

Victoriafires09_credit Erickson Air-Crane

Helicopters: the crack troops of the war on wildfires

Rotorcraft are able to tackle forest blazes in a way fixed-wing aircraft can not. We look at what the various assets on the market can offer

Civil helicopter deliveries

The global helicopter market in numbers

A breakdown of the global in-service fleets across the civil and military helicopter markets, together with historic fleet and delivery trends.

H175-c-AirbusHelicopters

Slow-selling super-medium-class helicopters make modest headway

A few years ago there were many forecasts that the new super-medium-class helicopters would sell by the bucket-load. This has not quite come to pass, although those operating the rotorcraft in this weight class have used their performance benefits to push into new markets.

AW139-c-Leonardo

New arrivals in medium helicopter sector threaten the old order

Heading up the weight range means these medium-class helicopters are more capable but more complex – and come with a bigger price ticket. Despite this, there are big sellers in this category, alongside new entrants.

H135-c-AirbusHelicopters

Airbus dominates light-twin helicopter market with German-built duo

While not selling in the same quantities as their lighter siblings, light-twin helicopters play a significant role in society, notably in law enforcment and emergency medical services missions. 

Mi171-c-RussianHelicopters

Heavy-twin helicopters are dragged down by offshore slump

Heavy-twins sit at the top of each manufacturer’s range and while a downturn in oil and gas services has hurt sales in some cases, interest from the search and rescue operators has remained strong.

More helicopter news

Mi171A3-c-Rostec

Gazprom emerges as first customer for Mi-171A3 offshore helicopter

Russian Helicopters appears to have a first customer lined up for the new A3 variant of its long-running Mil Mi-171 heavy-class rotorcraft after oil giant Gazprom signed up to the programme, although details of the agreement remain limited.

Captain Christina Brun 2-c-Bristow Group

How flying helicopters hooked Bristow pilot Christina Brun

Chief pilot for Bristow Helicopters at its Aberdeen and Sumburgh bases explains how rotary-winged flight had her hooked from an early age, and why she left a career in IT for one in the cockpit. 

Ka-62

MAKS debuts for Klimov helicopter engine pair

United Engine (UEC) has displayed at the MAKS air show two new turboshafts that will replace Western-built powerplants on rotorcraft from the Russian Helicopters stable.

Mi8 Utair-c-Art Konovalov_Shutterstock

UTair orders 50 Mil Mi-8AMT helicopters

Russian airline UTair has signed for 50 Mil Mi-8AMT heavy-lift helicopters as part of a fleet renewal programme.

Ka226T-c-RussianHelicopters

Ka-226T ‘Climber’ helicopter breaks cover at MAKS

Russian Helicopters has unveiled an upgraded variant of the Kamov Ka-226T light-twin at the MAKS air show.

Bell 212 rotor-c-Creative Commons

Premature Bell 212 rotor strap pin failures spur urgent inspection order

Canadian authorities have ordered urgent replacement of rotor hub strap pins on certain Bell helicopters after premature failure of the component was found during investigation of a fatal Bell 212 crash.

United Engine hybrid concept title-c-United Engine

Russia’s Klimov looks to develop 500kW hybrid engine

Russia’s United Engine is looking to develop a hybrid powerplant demonstrator based on the Klimov VK-650V engine.

MC-21-310

How Rostec is powering Russia’s aerospace renaissance

The holding company behind Russia’s aviation assets sees a bright future for its aerospace industry under effective state ownership, as it works to grow presence in civil sector.

Ansat-M first flight

Hailing Russia’s latest rotary revolutionaries

Owner of the Kamov and Mil design houses – more famed for military aircraft – is quietly increasing its share of the civil market too as the company seeks to establish a better balance.

SKOL ambulance-c-SKOL

Russia’s SKOL claims medical fleet restriction endangers patients

Russian operator SKOL is protesting that moves to seize its leased fleet risks the health of individuals in need of medical evacuation, particularly in the current pandemic crisis.