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

H125 birdstrike-c-BEA

Fly high or reduce speed to cut civil helicopter birdstrike: EASA

Civil helicopter operators are being advised to reduce airspeed if they are unable to avoid flying at low altitude, as a defensive measure against the risk of serious birdstrike.

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Leonardo Helicopters eyes hybrid future as it rebrands Kopter SH09

Leonardo Helicopters and Kopter are already contemplating the development of a hybrid-electric rotorcraft demonstrator even as they work to bring the newly rebranded AW09 to market.

ETPS AW139

New rotorcraft to complete Qinetiq’s ETPS fleet update

The UK’s Qinetiq-run Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS) is poised to complete its major fleet renewal programme, with a trio of replacement rotorcraft due to enter use within months.

Shin Nihon Bell 407GXi

Shin-Nihon Helicopters receives Japan’s first Bell 407GXis

Japan’s Shin-Nihon Helicopters has taken delivery of two Bell 407GXi helicopters, making it the country’s first operator of the type.

Racer Cleansky2-c-Airbus Helicopters

Airbus ready to accelerate Racer after 2020’s false start

At this point last year Airbus Helicopters was gearing up for final assembly of the Racer high-speed rotorcraft it is building under the EU’s Clean Sky 2 programme, setting the demonstrator on course for a first flight in late 2021.

H160 Derazona rendering

Airbus Helicopters secures first Indonesian H160 customer

Indonesia’s Derazona Helicopters has become the first Indonesian customer for the Airbus Helicopters H160 medium-twin.

JCG H225 ©Airbus_Anthony Pecchi

Japanese coast guard orders two additional H225s

The Japan Coast Guard has ordered two additional H225s, to be used for search and rescue (SAR) and other missions.

Bell 505 c Bell

Bell commits to SAF blend for training fleet

Bell has begun using a 30% blend of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in its 20-strong training and customer demonstration fleet as it bids to lower the environmental impact of general aviation.

Covid vaccine-c-WHO

EASA recommends 48-72h post-vaccination pause for aircrew

European safety regulators are advising aircrew to wait at least 48h, and up to 72h for single-crew operations, before engaging in flight-related tasks after being vaccinated against Covid-19.

Chip Mong Bell 429

Cambodian firm orders country's first Bell 429

The Bell 429 has secured its first order in Cambodia, with the country’s Chip Mong Group placing an order for one example.