Engine maker Rolls-Royce released its annual turbine helicopter sales forecast at Heli-Expo 2011. The company predicts 16,900 new turbine helicopters will be delivered between now and 2020 with a value of $140 billion.
Of this total, 6,070 will be military with an estimated airframe value of $106 billion and an associated engine value of $7.8 billion. Rolls-Royce also predicts that the civil market will experience “modest” growth, especially at the entry level. Demand over the period in this market is forecast to be 10,900 airframes with an approximate value of $34 billion and an associated engine value of $4.8 billion. Most of the growth will occur between 2011 and 2015.
“While the market has not returned as quickly as the industry desired,” said Patricia O’Connell, Rolls-Royce business sector president, “basic indicators are beginning to support a positive environment for civil rotorcraft.”
Rolls-Royce executives here at Heli-Expo said the company is continuing to work on two new civil engine programs, the RR300 and the RR500.
The certified RR300 currently is flying in the new Robinson R66 and Rolls-Royce (Booth No. 2528) is in the process of establishing authorized service centers to support the engine. At Heli-Expo, the company announced the approval of 11 RR300 service centers in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the UK and the U.S. (Long Beach Helicopters).
The 475-shp RR500 remains under development and recently concluded initial test runs, including engine start and acceleration to partial power. Automated engine testing will begin later this year and Rolls-Royce expects engine certification in 2013.