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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Rotorcraft Report: Forecasts See Strong Demand Ahead

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Engine makers Honeywell and Rolls-Royce project a hearty helicopter market worldwide for the next several years.

Honeywell is projecting that 4,450 new civil, turbine-powered helicopters will go into service worldwide in the next five years, with corporate, emergency medical services (EMS), and law enforcement customers accounting for more than 65 percent of those sales.

"Estimated civil helicopter deliveries were up 25-30 percent in 2007 and are expected to rise again in 2008, as helicopter manufacturers increase production to satisfy strong demand for new aircraft around the world," said the company in its 10th civil helicopter purchase outlook. It expects turbine-powered civil helicopter deliveries to exceed 800 this year.

Rolls-Royce forecasts the delivery of 9,095 civil, turbine-powered rotorcraft over the next 10 years. It said the combined value of those aircraft and their engines would exceed $35 billion.

"The projections for the next 10 years show an industry operating at levels approaching capacity," said Ken Roberts, acting president of Rolls’ helicopter business.

Honeywell and Rolls each see significant growth in the market for single-engine turbine-powered helicopters, driven by the entry into service of Robinson Helicopter Co.’s R66. — Thomas McKenna

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