RotorWay International moved one step closer to its goal of building a certified two-place turbine helicopter on Feb. 17 when it announced its acquisition of PMC, Inc., a Phoenix-based manufacturer of helicopter parts. Chandler, Ariz.-based RotorWay has been building kitbuilt helicopters for 45 years; about 2,400 of the various models have flown, although only about 60 percent are in flying condition at any one time. The company announced last year that it intended to certify a two-place turbine helicopter, and it signed an agreement with Rolls-Royce for the use of the RR300 turboshaft engine for the project.
To provide additional manufacturing and engineering capability for the certification project, RotorWay acquired PMC Machining and Manufacturing, a 20-year-old company that builds components for Bell Helicopter and other companies. Under the new corporate structure, Grant Norwitz retains the title of CEO of Rotorway International. PMC CEO Mark Porter will be president and COO of the company.
RotorWay, which hasn’t announced a timeline or price for the certified helicopter, believes the turbine two-seater will make an ideal trainer for pilots wanting a career in helicopters, allowing them to gain as much coveted turbine time as possible. Besides a trainer, the helicopter will be well suited for use in aerial photography, film and news production, military, law enforcement, and for private aviation, according to Norwitz