Foreign helicopter deliveries to Russia grew by 50%
А record number of helicopters were imported into Russia in 2013. Foreign deliveries grew by 50% on the previous year to 145 units, the HeliRussia 2014 organizers report. As of early 2014, there were 548 foreign-made helicopters registered in the country compared to 246 back in 2009, an increase of more than 100%. Light helicopter imports grew by 39%. Robinson Helicopter Company remained an absolute leader in this category, delivering 86 aircraft (against 62 in 2012). The growth was largely down to the high demand for the US manufacturer’s new R66 gas-turbine model, which obtained a local type certificate in March 2013. A total of 48 R66 deliveries to Russia were made in 2013. Imports of medium helicopters grew by 64%; Airbus Helicopters (known as Eurocopter until January 2014) continued to reign in this segment, delivering 28 aircraft (compared to 19 in 2012). These included AS350s, EC145s, EC120s and EC130s. Another three Airbus helicopters were delivered by third party companies. In all, 33 helicopters from the European manufacturer were delivered to Russia last year (against 22 in 2012), bringing the total fleet to upwards of 140 units. Anglo-Italian manufacturer AgustaWestland saw a 270% increase in imports to Russia year-on-year with 19 deliveries: 13 AW139 medium helicopters, two AW119s and four AW109SPs light rotorcraft. There are currently 18 AW139s operated in Russia, including four locally built examples. Another US manufacturer — Bell Helicopter delivered nine aircraft, two more than the year before. There were eight Bell-429s and a single Bell-407.