Light Military Rotorcraft Market to Stabilize Over Long Term

By Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Forecast International.

Bell UH-1Y

Utilizing data from its innovative Platinum Forecast System® 3.1, Forecast International projects that a total of 1,610 light military rotorcraft will be produced during the 15-year period from 2017 through 2031.  The value of this production is estimated at $22.2 billion in constant 2017 U.S. dollars.  In general, we define a military rotorcraft as light when it has a maximum gross weight of less than 6,804 kilograms (15,000 lb). Continue reading

Short-Term Growth, Longer-Term Decline Projected for Light Military Rotorcraft Market

By Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Forecast International.

H145M in flight (© Copyright Airbus Helicopters, Charles Abarr)

Airbus Helicopters H145M in flight (© Copyright Airbus Helicopters, Charles Abarr)

Forecast International is projecting that 1,241 light military rotorcraft will be produced by manufacturers during the 10-year period from 2016 through 2025.  The value of this production is estimated at $19.7 billion, as calculated in constant 2016 U.S. dollars.  We define a light military rotorcraft as one having a maximum gross weight of less than 6,804 kilograms (15,000 lb). Continue reading

UTC Moves Ahead With Sikorsky Divestiture

By Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Forecast International.

Sikorksy Combat Rescue Helicopter

Sikorsky Combat Rescue Helicopter

 

On the opening day of the Paris Air Show, United Technologies Corp (UTC) revealed that it has decided to proceed with a sale or spinoff of its Stratford, Connecticut-based Sikorsky Aircraft subsidiary.  Earlier this year, UTC had announced that it was reviewing strategic alternatives regarding Sikorsky’s future within the UTC corporate portfolio.

At the time, Forecast International wrote that Sikorsky had a bright future with or without UTC.  We pointed to such factors as Sikorsky’s continuing leadership in the military rotorcraft market among Western manufacturers, underscored by robust U.S. Army procurement of Black Hawk helicopters as well as key wins in such contests as the U.S. Air Force combat rescue helicopter and U.S. Navy VXX presidential helicopter programs.  Added to this are Sikorsky’s smaller but growing presence in the civil rotorcraft market and the bright outlook for the firm in the increasingly important helicopter aftermarket.
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Bell 525 to Fill Super Medium Niche

by Douglas Royce, Forecast International

P1060400 (Small)

Bell Helicopter launched the all-new Model 525 Relentless at Heli-Expo in February 2012.  The twin-engine design will be the largest helicopter in Bell’s commercial product line when it is certified. It will be capable of carrying 16 passengers in a standard configuration, and Bell has promised a high-capacity configuration seating 20 passengers.  The 525 is targeted at the oil and gas, search-and-rescue, and VIP/corporate transport markets.

P1060401 (Small) P1060398 (Small)

Bell is targeting a maximum takeoff weight of 19,300 pounds (8,750 kg). Bell calls the 525 a “super medium” helicopter, placing it in the gap between the AgustaWestland AW139 and Eurocopter EC 175 at the top end of the light helicopter market and heavy commercial models like the Eurocopter EC 225 or Sikorsky S-92.  This is the same market space targeted by the AgustaWestland AW189.

Two 1,800-shp GE CT7-2F1 engines equipped with Full Authority Digital Engine Controls (FADEC) will power a five-bladed, fully articulated main rotor. A new Garmin G5000H integrated avionics suite will give pilots a high level of situational awareness even in poor weather, according to Bell.

The manufacturer plans to achieve certification in 2015, but schedules announced at launch of an all-new aircraft program are rarely met.  It is likely that deliveries will begin in 2016.