Survey results and strong sales activity indicate demand will rise over next four years

Honeywell is forecasting deliveries of 3,500 turbine-powered civil helicopters through 2011, up 40% over the previous five years, with continued long-term demand expected to push deliveries past 8,000 aircraft over 2007-17.

At last week's Heli-Expo show in Orlando, Florida the avionics-to-engines manufacturer estimated civil helicopter deliveries were up 9% in 2006 and are expected to rise strongly next year as manufacturers step up production.

"Survey results have improved four years running, and [manufacturers] report strong sales activity, supporting our view that helicopter demand has long-range prospects in a growing global economy," says Vicki Panhuise, vice-president, commercial and military helicopters.

Honeywell sees few trade-up expectations among operators, with more than 80% of projected new-aircraft purchases to replace helicopters in the same size and price class.

Honeywell civil helicopter delivery graph

Strongest demand over 2007-11 will be for light turbine singles at 51% of forecast deliveries, intermediate twins at 29% and light twins at 16%. North America will account for 42% of projected demand, followed by Asia-Pacific with 22%, Europe with 16% and Latin America with 15%.

Light singles lead in North America with 70% of planned purchases, and in Latin America with 57%. In Europe, where regulations restrict single-turbine aircraft, multi-engine helicopters narrowly lead with 53%. In the remaining regions twins lead with 65-75%.

Corporate is the largest operator segment, says Honeywell, with 26% of forecast deliveries, followed by law enforcement at 19%, emergency medical services at 16% and offshore support at 14%. Law enforcement leads in North America with 35% corporate in Latin America with 70% and Asia-Pacific with 30% and oil support in Africa and the Middle East with 53%.

Source: Flight International