The helicopter market has remained among the most stable and dynamic sectors of the global aviation industry for several years in a row, as is evident from the robust 2013 sales results made public by the world’s largest rotorcraft manufacturers. Robinson Helicopter led the pack with 523 light helicopter deliveries, slightly improving on the previous year. The US manufacturer’s backlog remains solid; the management does not expect the production rate to slow down this year.
Airbus Helicopters ranked first in the deliveries of helicopters weighing in at over 1,300 kg; the company delivered 497 aircraft, or 5% up on the 2012 results. Bell Helicopters came second with 291 deliveries.
Russian Helicopters was third in this category, delivering 275 newly built airframes. General Director Alexander Mikheyev says the insignificant drop in deliveries from the previous year is entirely down to a revised schedule, and does not imply any order withdrawals or slowdowns in production. In fact, Russian Helicopters ramped up production rate last year, building a total of 303 aircraft. As of early 2014, Russian Helicopters had 808 outstanding firm orders worth $12.26 billion.
Sikorsky Aircraft delivered 240 new helicopters, just as it had in 2012. AgustaWestland made 230 deliveries. Boeing’s deliveries grew by 15% to 81 airframes.