Days before Heli-Expo 2011, Enstrom Helicopter delivered the first of 30 TH-480B turbine training helicopters ordered by the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF), and the company is still hovering a little above the ground in the afterglow of the late February delivery ceremony in Japan.
“The 480B was originally designed as a training helicopter,” noted Enstrom president and CEO Jerry Mullins. “To be chosen by a highly regarded organization such as the JGSDF is verification of what we started out to do with the aircraft.”
The TH-480B is the JGSDF designation for the Enstrom 480B light turbine helicopter. Enstrom was awarded the contract for the training helicopters a year ago following a competitive bidding process. Enstrom’s Japanese representative, Aero Facility, has expanded its facility and contracted with Japan-based maintenance provider Jamco to support the JGSDF fleet of TH-408Bs.