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

Flightlab tests engine back-up system (EBS)

Airbus Helicopters tests battery power for emergency landings

Airbus Helicopters has begun flight tests of a battery-based electric back-up system (EBS), which will boost safety in light-single helicopters by providing up to 30s of power in the event of an engine failure.

Bristow - Vertical VA-X4

Bristow signs tentative eVTOL orders with Eve and Vertical Aerospace

Bristow Group, one of the world’s largest helicopter operators, has signalled its intention to move into a new market, signing tentative orders with a pair of developers for up to 150 electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

Caracal hoist-c-BEA-E

Revised design proposal aims to cut helicopter hoist accident fatalities

Europe’s aviation safety regulator has put forward proposals to revise certification requirements for helicopter hoist design, arguing that design improvements would potentially mitigate a number of accidents and reduce fatalities.

Shin Nihon Bell 407GXi

Bell’s new Asia chief confronts Covid-19 challenges

Bell’s new Asia-Pacific head Jacinto Monge says travel restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic have been a challenge for the helicopter maker, but pilot training, support activities, and sales efforts continue apace.

Racer Cleansky2 Pressrelease 200617 05

Airbus progresses Racer demonstrator as completed main fuselage arrives at Marignane

Airbus Helicopters has detailed fresh progress on its Racer high-speed demonstrator as the airframer pushes to meet a first flight target now set for the end of 2022.

CityAirbus performs first fully automatic flight (1)

CityAirbus nears end of flight-test campaign

Airbus Helicopters is nearing the end of flight tests for its CityAirbus urban air mobility (UAM) demonstrator as the airframer considers its approach to the segment.

Russia Iran talks-c-Rosaviatsia

Russian-Iranian airworthiness pact intended to ease civil aviation exports

Russian and Iranian authorities have signed a memorandum of understanding on airworthiness matters, intended to ease export of aircraft.

FlytX+1st+flight-c-Thales

Thales starts flight tests of new FlytX avionics suite using Guimbal Cabri

Thales has begun flight testing its new FlytX avionics suite aboard a Helicoptres Guimbal Cabri light helicopter, with the evaluations running until 2022.

Racer Cleansky2-c-Airbus Helicopters

Patent application shows how Airbus Helicopters Racer will power away from engine failure

Airbus Helicopters appears to be working on a new automated safety system for its high-speed Racer compound rotorcraft that would use its twin propellers to provide power to the main rotor in case of a double engine failure.

Babcock H175

CHC completes Babcock acquisition, but competition clearances still to come

CHC Helicopter has completed the acquisition of Babcock’s offshore oil and gas aviation business for £10 million ($13.7 million) even though it has yet to receive clearance from competition authorities in Australia and the UK.