March 7, 2011
By Alton K. Marsh
Visitors gather around an Erickson Air-Crane at Heli-Expo 2011. Rolls-Royce forecasters predict that over the 10-year period beginning this year, total helicopter deliveries will be more than 16,900 units.
The helicopter market may not have recovered as quickly as the industry would have liked, but now customer demand and the availability of financing has created a favorable outlook for civil rotorcraft. The demand for military rotorcraft continues with emphasis on hot temperatures and high altitude performance, said Patricia O’Connell of Rolls-Royce.
There are enough retired and aging helicopters in the current fleet to assure future demand.
Rolls-Royce forecasters say that over the 10-year period beginning this year, total helicopter deliveries are predicted to be more than 16,900 units as the market responds to improving economic fundamentals and the world’s military operators continue to require increased vertical lift capability.
Rolls-Royce projects deliveries of those 16,900 new turbine helicopters to be valued at $140 billion during the 2011 to 2020 period. These helicopters will require approximately 27,000 new turbine engines valued at more than $12 billion.
The civil market will experience modest unit growth, especially in new entry-level turbine helicopters. Rolls-Royce forecasts around 10,900 civil helicopters to be delivered during the 10-year period, with an overall airframe value estimated at $34 billion and associated engine value of $4.6 billion.
Military original equipment manufacturer deliveries are predicted to total approximately 6,070 new military helicopters during the 10-year period, with an airframe value of approximately $106 billion and an associated installed engine value of around $7.8 billion.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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