With the recent sale of a 480B turbine single to Wuhan Helicopters, Enstrom has returned to the Chinese market. It was in the early 1990s that the Menominee, Mich.-based manufacturer first sold helicopters into China when Wuhan Helicopters imported some of the first civil certified helicopters–Enstrom 280FXs used by the Wuhan Police and Enstrom 480s for agricultural spraying. Wuhan still operates a rare turbine-powered TH-28 for agricultural spraying and other commercial work.
The 480B recently ordered by Wuhan Helicopters will also be fitted with spraying equipment (an Isolair system), as well as Garmin GPS and a Safe Flight powerline detection system.
Michael Powell, president of Isolair, noted that there is a flow control in the cockpit for easy and fast adjustment of spray volume. “The tank mounts under the belly, and the entire assembly–pumps, booms and all–attaches with only a few quick-disconnect pins. This means the helicopter can quickly be reconfigured for other duties with a minimum of fuss.”
Enstrom director of sales and marketing Tracy Biegler said that civil certification of the 480B is currently under way in China.
Founded in 1959, Enstrom offers the three-seat piston-powered F28F and 280FX and the turbine-powered 480B, available as a three-place trainer and patrol aircraft, a 2+2 four-seat trainer or as a three- to five-place executive transport. For law enforcement, Enstrom offers a 480B variant known as the Guardian and an F28F variant called the Sentinel.