Enstrom Helicopter is displaying one of its 480B single-engine turbine helicopters at Heli-Expo with Garmin G1000H glass-panel avionics and is making the installation available to customers as an option. The move to G1000H avionics adds Enstrom to the growing list of helicopter manufacturers that have adopted glass cockpits.
Enstrom Helicopter Corporation
Today at Heli-Expo, Enstrom Helicopter announced that it selected the Garmin G1000H integrated digital flight deck for its Rolls-Royce 250-powered 480B. The Garmin panel integrates all primary flight information, navigation data, communications, terrain awareness, traffic, weather, and engine parameters on two 10.4-inch displays. It also incorporates a large moving map and supports a wide array of safety enhancing features, including synthetic vision, helicopter Taws, datalink weather and traffic awareness and collision avoidance system, among others.
In just over a month, more than 20,000 rotorcraft enthusiasts will fill the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center for four days of networking, learning and, every business hopes, buying of services, parts, accessories and helicopters. While the exhibit halls open on a Tuesday this year (10:30 a.m. on March 5), early activities begin with professional education courses starting on February 28.
Enstrom Helicopter announced late last week that it has been acquired by Chongqing Helicopter Investment Co. (CQHIC) for an undisclosed price. Chongqing is the fourth-largest metropolitan area in China. Menominee, Mich.-based Enstrom manufactures single-engine helicopters, including the 480B turbine and F28 piston series.
Enstrom Helicopter (Booth No. 4800) recently signed the Zuhai Business Aviation Center as its authorized dealer in China. Located in Guandong Province, Zuhai will sell, service and operate Entroms along with their fixed-wing businessZuhai has ordered one 480B turbine single and a 280FX piston helicopter to serve as demonstrators. The helicopters will be delivered soon. Enstrom first sold helicopters into China in the 1990s, delivering a trio of Model 480s for powerline patrol and agricultural spraying and two Model 280FX helicopters for police duty.
Enstrom Helicopter (Booth No. 4810) had its best year on record last year. With 16 helicopters delivered during the year–14 of which were Enstrom 480B turbine models priced at more than $1 million each–the Menominee, Mich.-based helicopter manufacturer earned its highest annual revenue in its 52-year history.
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.
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 Japanese Ground Self Defense Force has selected the Enstrom 480B turbine single as its next-generation training helicopter and is scheduled to take 30 of the aircraft between now and 2014.
Enstrom Helicopter (Booth No. 2528) sold only five helicopters last year and was forced to lay off more than half of its workforce, but this year is looking up thanks to new opportunities in Asia.