Global demand for helicopters is expected to increase over the next five years, according to the results of Honeywell’s Turbine-Powered Civil Helicopter Purchase Outlook survey, released here at Heli-Expo ‘13. Deliveries of new civilian-use helicopters will total between 4,900 and 5,600 units during 2013-2017 according to the survey, with strong demand focused in the first three years of the period and reflected in every region of the world. This is 35 percent higher for this three-year period than was recorded in last year’s survey.
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.
For the fifth year running, Heli-Expo “appears to be setting records” for attendance and exhibitors, Matthew Zuccaro, president of show organizer Helicopter Association International (HAI) told AIN on the eve of Heli-Expo ‘13 here in Las Vegas. “We anticipate more than 23,000 attendees, we have approximately 750 exhibitors and 60 helicopters on display,” Zuccaro said.
Bell Helicopter is on a mission, to diversify its business model. CEO John Garrison wants to increase the company’s share of revenues from the civil sector, now estimated at 40 percent of its overall 2012 results of $4.2 billion.
EuroAvionics is at Heli-Expo’13 celebrating 20 years since its founding in 1993. Since then it has become established as a key supplier of cockpit avionics enhancement packages for special-mission helicopters and military aircraft. The company is exhibiting (Booth No. C3930) next to U.S. partner LCX Systems, which serves the Americas market from its base in Sarasota, Fla.
The Flight Safety Foundation is highlighting rotorcraft topics at Heli-Expo. “Our mission is to be advocates of the best aviation safety practices in the world,” said president and CEO Kevin Hiatt. “Based on what we’re observing at the foundation, we need to understand more about helicopter operations as a whole and to foster a safety-centric culture.”
Eurocopter is currently working on three “X” projects–the X indicating they are more or less secret–to replace the Dauphin and Super Puma and an undetermined model. Meanwhile, the EC175 program has slipped a bit more to the right.
Eurocopter anticipates that a solution to the main gearbox problem that has grounded the North Sea fleet of EC225s will be available next month. Offshore operators, especially those in the North Sea, have seen major disruption of their activities, as have the oil and gas companies that depend on helicopter transportation for crew changes on their platforms.
The rotorcraft world is preparing to alight at the Las Vegas Convention Center next week for the Helicopter Association International’s Heli-Expo 2013. The conference opens on Monday with safety seminars and media conferences, while the 1.5-million-sq-ft exhibit space and indoor static display opens at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, following the annual membership meeting and breakfast.
Neelam Mathews and Vladimir Karnozov contributed to this report.
Helicopters were much in the news at the Aero India show this week. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) showed the armed version of its advanced light helicopter (ALH) called “Rudra.” The company’s light combat helicopter (LCH) was also on show, and so was an armed Mil-17V5. The Indian Navy’s new multi-role helicopter (MRH) requirement also attracted attention.