Enstrom Helicopter, which saw 12 of its 20 deliveries last year go to customers outside the U.S., is seeing a continuation of the trend in 2009.
Mere months after a corporate shakeup rocked Enstrom Helicopter to the roots of its mahogany row, the Menominee, Mich.-based rotorcraft manufacturer celebrated the largest single-customer sale in its 44-year history. Making the marketers dance was news of the sale of no fewer than 18 Enstrom 480Bs to the Indonesian National Police. The 480B is a turbine powered by a single Rolls-Royce 250-C20W.
Enstrom 480, Goshen, Ind., Aug. 5, 2005–The NTSB determined the landing accident was caused by “ground resonance experienced by the pilots.” The student pilot/owner was flying the turbine helicopter, accompanied by a 2,107-hour CFI, when it experienced ground resonance and disintegrated. The helicopter’s tail was sheared from the body and landed 30 feet away, the front seats about 10 feet away.
Enstrom Helicopter recently delivered the first five-place 480B destined for Turkey to Istanbul-based Enstrom dealer Kaan Air. Enstrom handed over the turbine-powered helicopter–which features Garmin avionics, a leather interior and a photo door–to Kaan Air Capt. Muzaffer Atici at its factory in Menominee, Mich.
Enstrom Helicopters has placed all its Service Bulletins and Service Information Letters on the customer-support page of the company Web site. Historically manual updates for all the company’s helicopter models are provided to owners at no charge for the life of the aircraft. The company is now planning to make technical manuals and revisions available on an FTP site for free downloading.
A strengthening worldwide market for civil and military helicopters is responsible for keeping senior executives at engine-maker Rolls-Royce jubilant–but not satisfied.
Looking to the near-term future, Rolls-Royce views unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and emerging civil markets in China and India as the next big growth areas, according to Scott Crislip, president of helicopters and small gas turbine engines for the UK manufacturer.
Enstrom Helicopter of Menominee, Mich., has earned FAA approval for a pop-out float option on its Model 480B. The floats cost $39,690 and add 106 pounds to the empty weight of the turbine single (only 14 pounds of installation hardware remain when the floats are removed). They can also be retrofitted to in-service aircraft.
The Enstrom 480 series has an upgraded air conditioning unit that the FAA recently certified. “The condenser bypass makes this system more efficient than that of most of our competitors,” claimed Bayard duPont, director of product support for Enstrom Helicopter.
An elastomeric main rotor damper developed by Lord Corp. has gained U.S. Federal Aviation Administration certification for use on the Enstrom 480 light turbine helicopter. The damper has been incorporated into new production models and is available for retrofit into existing helicopters in the field.
The Los Angeles Interagency Metropolitan Police Apprehension Crime Task Force (L.A. impact) has ordered a single-turbine Enstrom 480B Guardian. The helicopter, which will be based in Pasadena, is expected to be delivered next month.