Over 19,000 attendees turned out last week for the 2014 Heli-Expo in Anaheim. We caught up with several executives who expressed optimism for the industry based on the performance of their businesses. The overall mood reflected the steady innovation and recovery of the industry since the recent recession. Exhibitors included MROs, helicopter OEMs, component manufacturers, aviation test equipment manufacturers, engine OEMs and other manufacturers and service providers to the industry.
The Honeywell forecast for civilian turbine helicopter deliveries, which is based on surveys of more than 1,000 operators worldwide, was released in conjunction with the show and indicates a strong, stable trend in the helicopter market. In its 16th annual Turbine-Powered Civil Helicopter Purchase Outlook, Honeywell expects that 4,800–5,500 civilian-use helicopters will be delivered during 2014–2018.
“Global demand looks steady on the heels of strong 2013 performance,” said Tom Hart, vice president, defense and space sales, Honeywell Aerospace. “Utility helicopter purchase interest is trending upward. Helicopter replacement cycles and increased operating hours in the law enforcement and oil & gas industries helps sustain demand in those sectors. Several new platforms are scheduled to enter service in the next few years and this also is expected to bolster overall demand.”
Light aircraft were highlighted. Among the 65 aircraft on display was Bell’s new short light single, the Bell 505 JetRanger X, which was unveiled following a spectacular multimedia event. By the end of the first day, Bell had received almost 100 orders for the aircraft and by the end of the show, Bell had recorded 196 orders, including 171 for the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X.
Other notable orders included:
- Airbus Helicopters – a total of 78 orders for its aircraft, vs. 69 from last year, including 14 EC175s and 25 EC145T2s
- AgustaWestland signed 32 orders, including Milestone Aviation Group (5 AW139s and 3 AW189s), LCI (7 AW139s and 1 AW189), Omni Helicopters International Group (4 AW139s and 5 AW189s).
- Sikorsky announced an order for 8 more S-92s from Milestone Aviation Group and a first order from Macquarie Rotorcraft Leasing for two S-92s to be leased back to Bond Offshore helicopters.
- Lease Corporation International (LCI), the aviation leasing arm of the Libra Group, unveiled commitments for up to 39 new helicopters worth around $925 million and with further 2014 pipeline orders up to a total value approaching $1 billion.
We’ll look forward to next years’ expo and to continuing to work with clients in this exciting industry.