HAI Convention News

Customer buys kit helicopter manufacturer

 - March 15, 2007, 10:35 AM

Kit helicopter maker Rotorway has been acquired by an ownership group led by Grant Norwitz, who first became acquainted with the company when he purchased one of its helicopters. He joined Rotorway last year as CEO.

Norwitz said key executives, including Brent Marshall, vice president of sales, and Tom Smith, vice president of engineering, would remain with the company. Production of the two-seat, piston-engine helicopters will remain in Chandler, Ariz., but will shift to a larger factory there. Rotorway will continue to build fully assembled helicopters in South Africa that can be imported into the U.S. under the Experimental category.
Norwitz said the assembled helicopters will feature several standard improvements, including full night and IFR instrumentation, bubble doors that allow four more inches of shoulder room, and wider and taller skids.

Rotorway will sell kits for $80,000 and assembled aircraft for $135,000. Norwitz forecasts a 30-percent sales growth for this year. Last year Rotorway delivered 70 helicopters.