Enstrom Helicopter has sold 16 480B helicopters to the Royal Thai Army.

These 16 light turbine helicopters will be used for training purposes and be based at the army's aviation centre in Lopburi province in central Thailand, says Enstrom's managing representative in Asia, David Blake. The army now flies Bell TH-67s and Schweizer 300s for training, he says.

First deliveries of the 480Bs will be later this year, says Blake, adding that the aircraft can also be used for light utility or medical evacuation tasks.

The helicopter can carry five people including the pilot, but can be reconfigured to have a smaller number of seats and more cargo capacity, he says.

These are the first 480Bs that the army has ordered, but Thailand's civil aviation training school has two of the older Enstrom 480 model, Blake says. He declines to confirm which types the company had to pitch against, but Enstrom says six other manufacturers were competing for the business.

Enstrom 480B helicopter
 © Enstrom Helicopter

Source: Flight International