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

AW149

Leonardo Helicopters rocked by sudden departure of UK chief as NMH campaign kicks off

Leonardo Helicopters’ bid to secure the long-term future of its Yeovil plant by winning the UK’s New Medium Helicopter (NMH) requirement has hit early turbulence with the abrupt departure of its UK managing director Nick Whitney.

aston_airbus

Airbus Corporate Helicopters shows off Aston thriller

Little more than two years after launch Airbus Corporate Helicopters (ACH) has sold all but one of its initial production run of Aston Martin Edition ACH130s and has now committed to a second batch of the exclusive light-singles.

Spain Tiger-c-Spanish army

Airbus Helicopters outlines schedule for Tiger MkIII upgrade

Airbus Helicopters will use three prototypes for its Tiger MkIII upgrade programme for France and Spain as development work begins in earnest following contract signature with procurement body OCCAR in March.

H160M Army-c-French defence ministry

Airbus Helicopters looks to firm up ‘concrete’ export interest in H160M

Airbus Helicopters is already having “concrete discussions” with potential export buyers of its H160M Guepard medium-twin, as development activities for launch customer France accelerate.

AC313A

AVIC AC313A conducts maiden sortie

AVIC has operated the maiden sortie of its 13t AC313A civil helicopter, which features significant design updates from the original AC313.

Bell 505

South Korea selects Bell 505 for new pilot trainer

The Republic of Korea will procure up to 40 of Bell’s 505 Jet Ranger X helicopters for training army and naval pilots.

NTSB

NTSB blames FAA for fatal air tour helicopter crash

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has blamed the Federal Aviation Administration for failing to implement safety recommendations that could have prevented a fatal helicopter crash in Hawaii in 2019.

TH-73A-c-US Navy

Israel returns for more AW119Kx helicopters

Israel is to purchase an additional number of Leonardo Helicopters AW119Kx rotorcraft sourced via the USA’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) mechanism in a deal worth almost $30 million.

MD530F-c-MD Helicopters

Buyer for MD Helicopters emerges as airframer enters Chapter 11 restructuring

US manufacturer MD Helicopters is to be acquired by a creditor consortium led by investment firm Bardin Hill and MBIA Insurance, potentially ending a recent period of turmoil for the Mesa, Arizona firm.

AW149

Safran pushes UK-built Aneto engines for UK NMH contest

Safran Helicopter Engines (SHE) has become the latest company to declare an interest in the UK’s effort to update its medium-lift rotorcraft fleet, pitching domestic assembly of the Aneto turboshaft as a core element of its offer.