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

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H160 route-proving trial in USA set for 2024

A long-awaited route-proving trial of the Airbus Helicopters H160 in the USA by operator PHI will not take place before 2024, the airframer says.

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Airbus Helicopters unveils H145-based PioneerLab demonstrator

Airbus Helicopters has introduced a third flying technology demonstrator, with the twin-engined H145-based PioneerLab the latest to join its line-up.

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Airbus Helicopters testing 'architectural' upgrades for H135, including five-bladed rotor

Airbus Helicopters is testing a series of upgrades for the H135 light-twin, including a five-blade main rotor and T-tail design.

Nicole Battjes with Rainbow Helicopters fleet

How ambition drove Nicole Battjes to form Rainbow Helicopters

Honolulu-based Nicole Battjes built her helicopter tour company from scratch, starting with just $5,000 and a dream. Its assets recently delivered relief supplies after a devastating fire in Lahaina.

Larry Taylor vietnam

Cobra pilot awarded USA’s top decoration for improvised rescue in Vietnam

Captain Larry Taylor evacuated a team of US Army troops who had been abandoned under heavy enemy fire, using a Bell AH-1G Cobra attack helicopter that was not designed to carry additional personnel beyond the pilot and weapons officer.

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Bristow could take up to 80 VoloCity aircraft under latest eVTOL agreement

Helicopter specialist Bristow Group could take up to 80 Volocopter VoloCity electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft under a pact that will see the operator develop passenger and cargo services with the type in the USA and UK.

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Families of AW169 crash victims consider legal action against Leonardo

Leonardo Helicopters could face legal action over the fatal crash of an AW169 in the UK due to a tail rotor failure.

AW169-c-High Level_Shutterstock

Regulatory loopholes laid ground for Leicester City AW169 crash: UK investigators

UK investigators have determined that certification and testing loopholes contributed to the fatal crash of a Leonardo Helicopters AW169 after its tail rotor failed shortly after take-off, an accident in which Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the then-owner of Leicester City Football Club, was killed.

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German states pick five-bladed H145 for police missions

A pair of German states have each ordered two Airbus Helicopters H145 light-twins for their police forces.

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Partners launch series production of Light Armed Helicopter

Airbus Helicopters and local partner Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) are to launch series production of the Light Armed Helicopter (LAH) – derived from the former’s H155 medium-twin – with deliveries to commence in 2024.