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

MCA-AW189-c-Duncan Cuthbertson_Shutterstock

UK reveals bidder shortlist for next-generation SAR tender

A total of six companies have been shortlisted to bid for the UK’s second-generation search and rescue contract – known as UKSAR2G – as the procurement kicks off in earnest.

H145 SAF -c-Airbus Helicopters

Safran pushes for 100% biofuel in helicopter engines by 2023

Safran Helicopter Engines believes it can achieve regulatory approval by 2023 to allow its powerplants to be run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on the back of a test campaign with German rotorcraft operator ADAC Luftrettung.

EFVS-c-Dassault Aviation

EASA all-weather operations revision aims to increase airport accessibility

Europe’s aviation safety authority is proposing a regulatory revision intended to increase the number of medium-sized airports accessible to flights, by updating all-weather operations frameworks.

Solo UAV - Leonardo Helicopters

Leonardo Helicopters plans new unmanned demonstrator in UK

Leonardo Helicopters’ UK operation has begun initial design work on a clean-sheet 3t-class unmanned rotorcraft which could be flying by 2024.

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Babcock to provide another H160 pair on lease to French navy

France has firmed an option for two additional Airbus Helicopters H160s, adding to four examples of the new medium-twin already destined to be operated by the country’s navy for search and rescue (SAR) missions.

Subaru Bell 412EPX

Subaru Bell 412EPX marks first delivery

Subaru has conducted the first delivery of the Subaru Bell 412EPX, with the rotorcraft going to Japan’s National Police Agency.

H160 ANH

Japan certificates Airbus Helicopters H160

Japanese civil aviation authorities have issued type certification for the Airbus Helicopters H160 medium-twin, as the type makes steady progress towards service entry. 

H160-c-AirbusHelicopters

Airbus Helicopters readies first ACH160, but handover hinges on FAA approval

Airbus Helicopters is gearing up for the first delivery of its new H160 medium-twin, with the initial example in a VIP configuration currently performing test flights from the manufacturer’s Marignane, France base.

FOTO 1_sar_queen

Norway continues roll-out of search and rescue AW101s

The Royal Norwegian Air Force has begun operations with search and rescue-roled Leonardo Helicopters AW101 at Orland air base – the second location to go live with the 15.6t rotorcraft.

LH Iso

Yorkshire Air Ambulance upgrades fleet with new five-bladed H145s

Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) has become the first UK customer for the new five-bladed variant of the Airbus Helicopters H145, signing for two examples of the light-twin.