The Latin American market in general, and Brazil in particular, continue to be red-hot markets for rotorcraft manufacturers, driven by government sales and the expansion of the regional offshore energy market, especially in Mexico and Brazil. Altogether, the market represents 9.8 percent of global demand–but that number is increasing fast.
Thales announced that its Scorpion helmet-mounted sight and display system (HMSD) had been selected for all new weapons systems sales and upgrades by Airbus Helicopters. The unusual sole-source selection had been made “following a full and open competition,” Thales said. The Airbus Helicopters military product line that could be sold with the HMSD consists of seven helicopters.
Russian Helicopters has taken over the management of five aircraft repair plants formerly owned by Russia’s ministry of defense. The plants are located in Khabarovsk, Svetly (Kaliningrad Region), Engels (Saratov Region), St. Petersburg and Chita. They will “significantly strengthen” after-sales service for Russian commercial and military helicopters, according to the manufacturer. Managers from the plants met with Russian Helicopters CEO Alexander Mikheev on May 21.
The Helicopter Association International (HAI) and the Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA) will join forces at Quad-A’s 2014 Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit in Nashville on May 5 and 6 to help Army pilots and technicians who want to prepare their careers for the future. Representatives from helicopter operators spanning all sectors of the civilian market will be available to discuss opportunities with pilots and technicians, and meet with qualified candidates. The job fair will be led by Stacy Sheard, a test pilot for Sikorsky Aircraft and 11-year active-duty U.S.
Taking into account both civil and military markets, the yearly delivery value of rotorcraft is comparable to the $18 billion business jet industry, according to aviation analyst Brian Foley. In fact, he is forecasting some 24,000 rotorcraft deliveries over the next 10 years, including 12,000 civil turbines, 6,000 military turbines and 6,000 piston helicopters valued at roughly $250 billion–roughly the same outlook for business jet billings.
This year’s military new helicopter market has been estimated to be worth $19.4 billion, according to London-based analysis firm Visiongain. The firm said here at Heli-Expo 2012 that Western countries, due to budget constraints, will focus on maintaining current fleets while emerging military powers, including South Korea, India, and China will significantly increase acquisitions and be “prominent players” over the next decade.
Even as other aviation segments struggled in the throes of a recession deeper and more enduring than anyone expected, the rotorcraft industry remained at least healthy. But is that going to last? If Heli-Expo 2011 in March was an indicator, the answer is “yes.”
AgustaWestland’s new CEO, Bruno Spagnolini, ensured that his company made a big splash at this year’s Paris Air Show, announcing a new helicopter, new joint ventures, plans to increase product support and service and takeover of the languishing civil tiltrotor program from development partner Bell Helicopter.
SkyBook’s electronic maintenance and flight records system is now available for both the Russian Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters.
India’s growing helicopter market is fueling the need for helicopter MRO services, and Indian companies are stepping in to meet the demand.
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