Industry lift for helicopters

Global demand for new helicopters will reach 16,400 over the next 10 years, according to the latest forecast by British power group, Rolls-Royce.

The company has predicted that there will be an emerging near-term recovery in the helicopter sector followed by long-term growth as the market responds to improving financial conditions.

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.’

In the civil market, the group estimated modest unit growth, especially in new entry-level turbine helicopters. As a result, it claims around 10,300 civil helicopters will be delivered during the 10-year period, with an overall airframe value estimated at $38bn (£24.5bn) and associated engine value of $4.2bn.

The company added that a move by military operators to address a growing call for more vertical lift capability will generate demand for approximately 6,100 new military helicopters during the 10-year period, with an airframe value of approximately $108bn and an associated installed engine value of around $7.7bn.

Overall, it is estimated that over the next 10 years 16,400 new turbine helicopters, valued at $146bn, will require approximately 26,000 new turbine engines worth $12bn.