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February 22, 2010
By Thomas A. Horne
Enstrom Helicopter Corp. of Menominee, Mich., is seeing its fortunes make a turnaround.
In December 2009, the Royal Thai Army ordered 16 Enstrom 480Bs—single-engine helicopters that Thailand will use as trainers. Deliveries are set for 2010 and 2011. Then Japan ordered 30 more 480Bs for the same purpose. Furthermore, Enstrom President Jerry Mullins said that the Peruvian Army will take delivery of two F28F trainers in the first quarter of 2010.
That’s quite a change from the five helicopters the company delivered in 2009.
Enstrom manufactures the $995,900 480B, which is powered by a single, 420-shp Rolls Royce 250-C20W engine; the $422,000 piston-powered 280FX Shark, which is powered by a turbocharged 225-hp Lycoming HIO-360 engine; and the similarly priced F28F, which also has the same Lycoming HIO-360.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
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