February 22, 2010
By Thomas A. Horne
Rolls-Royce issued its 10-year forecast for helicopter sales and predicted that more than 16,400 helicopters will be delivered over the next 10 years. Ken Roberts, president of the Rolls-Royce Helicopter Engine business, said “The industry did not escape the economic downturn in 2009, but we think emerging conditions set the stage for modest growth in the near term followed by solid long-term demand. The rotorcraft market will continue to be counterbalanced by offsetting civil and military requirements, and stronger macroeconomic conditions are expected to result in increased demand in the future.”
Rolls-Royce values the predicted 16,400 deliveries as being worth $146 billion during the period from 2010 to 2019. The helicopters will require approximately 26,000 new turbine engines valued at about $12 billion.
Of the forecast total, the civil market should experience modest growth between 2010 and 2019, Rolls-Royce said, especially in new entry-level turbine helicopters, with 10,300 civil helicopter deliveries worth $38 billion and associated engine values of $4.2 billion. Military helicopter deliveries should total about 6,100 units worth $108 billion.
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.
AOPA expressed concern in a meeting with town officials from East Hampton, New York, that restrictions proposed to curb airport noise “overwhelmingly” generated by transient commercial flights would unfairly burden traditional airport users.
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