New Rotorcraft 2014: With military funding in doubt, civil market drives new development
The rarefied offshore energy market continues to be the prime driver for development of new civil helicopters, but the training and entry-level market is also heating up, with Bell and others announcing or hinting at new models. Various studies predict that worldwide civil helicopter production will double between now and 2020 in terms of overall sales value as OEMs focus on delivering larger and more expensive helicopters. Concurrent with this growth, the worldwide market for new military helicopter sales, the lifeblood of most helicopter OEMs, is expected to be slashed dramatically during the same period, from $12 billion to $6 billion per year. That reduction could have an impact on certain OEMs’ abilities to fund new civil programs after 2015 and their opportunities to leverage technology developed for new military programs into civil helicopters.
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