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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Airbus Helicopters' clean-sheet "DisruptiveLab" helicopter demonstrator

Airbus Helicopters to fly new fuel-efficient demonstrator by year-end

Airbus Helicopters has revealed a new clean-sheet concept rotorcraft to validate a selection of new technologies it hopes will collectively deliver a fuel-burn reduction of up to 50%.

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Private helicopter innovator Frank Robinson remembered as visionary

Pioneering helicopter engineer Frank Robinson – who greatly expanded access to rotorcraft by designing a series of light helicopters starting with the two-seat Robinson R22 – recently died in his home in Southern California. He was 92 years old. 

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Airbus Helicopters chided for icing risk assumptions on H145

Norwegian investigators have criticised Airbus Helicopters for assumptions made during certification testing of its H145 that left examples fitted with an inlet barrier filter vulnerable to engine failure due to ice ingestion.

LN-OFU Photo Helitrans

EASA details plans to target post-crash fuel fires in helicopter fleet

European regulators have outlined proposals to close a legislative loophole that has left thousands of helicopters operating that are equipped with fuel systems that do not meet the latest crashworthiness standards. 

Racer Cleansky2-c-Airbus Helicopters

First flight of Racer high-speed helicopter slips again to 2023

Supply chain problems have put paid to Airbus Helicopters’ target of performing a first flight of its Racer high-speed rotorcraft technology demonstrator in 2022.

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Bond Helicopters to base five AW139s at Norwich for Perenco contract

Bond Helicopters will base five Leonardo Helicopters AW139 intermediate-twins at Norwich airport in support of a five-year offshore support contract with Perenco.

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Spain receives first H135s from 36-helicopter order

Airbus Helicopters has delivered the first two of 18 H135s to Spain’s Guardia Civil and Policia Nacional.

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Italian Carabinieri picks locally built AW119Kx for fleet replacement

Leonardo Helicopters says the 20 AW119Kx light-singles will be built in Vergiate plant in northern Italy, rather than on the type’s usual production line in Philadelphia.

BondS-92-c-BabcockInternational

Bond brand returns to offshore helicopter industry after Gama tie-up

Peter Bond, part of one of the UK offshore helicopter industry’s famous dynasties, has made a surprise return to the sector through a pact with aviation services provider Gama Aviation.

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First production AW609 takes flight

Leonardo Helicopters has flown the first production AW609 tiltrotor as the programme moves closer to certification.