Products, Public Service, Services

Enstrom Helicopter Corp.

By Staff Writer | January 1, 2010
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Enstrom proudly celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009. From humble beginnings in northern Michigan, Enstrom has grown into a world-renowned aerospace company, with sales of more than 1,100 aircraft in 50 countries. Still, the economic difficulties of 2009 required even more focus on Enstrom’s customers and products. In an era of volatile fuel prices, spiraling maintenance costs, and ever-shrinking budgets, Enstrom helicopters continue to exhibit the right combination of safety, performance, and efficiency.

This combination of customer benefits was once again demonstrated through the win of the Royal Thai Army’s competition for 16 new advanced turbine training helicopters. Enstrom won this highly contested program with its innovative 480B. Exceptionally stable and easy to fly, the 480B combines outstanding performance with a uniquely flexible cabin design. The configuration will allow the Royal Thai Army to use the aircraft to train two students at one time, as well as use the aircraft for surveillance, cargo, VIP transport, and even as an emergency broadcast platform. A combination of low acquisition and operating costs allowed Enstrom to meet all bid requirements, win the program, and still provide the Royal Thai Army utility and performance above and beyond their expectations.

Although the 480B has rapidly become one of the premier light turbines, Enstrom’s piston helicopters continue the legacy that the company started 50 years ago. The 280FX and F28F are the only turbocharged helicopters in production today. Considered the workhorse of the piston class, the F28F and 280FX excel in high-altitude environments. And although they have the power and payload for work such as law enforcement and agricultural spraying, they still have the comfort of an extra wide three-place cabin and stable flight characteristics that flight schools and private owners desire. This year Enstrom signed a contract with the Peruvian Army to provide two more F28F training helicopters to replenish their fleet of 10, while continuing to supply the Peruvian Navy with F28Fs for their training fleet.


It seems that every year safety is becoming more important. At Enstrom there simply is no compromise when it comes to safety. Accumulating over four million flight hours without a catastrophic failure, the Enstrom three-bladed, high inertia, fully articulated rotor head is great for autorotations, and there are no concerns about mast bumping or low-G maneuvers.

Heavy duty, oleo strut landing gear, with fore and side drag braces give that extra margin of safety during hard or run-on landings. The steel pylon structure, saddle type fuel tanks, and crushable keel beam floor further enhance the safety of each Enstrom built. Every day people trust their lives and their livelihoods to Enstrom. This is something Enstrom never forgets.

In an age of outsourcing, Enstrom still manufactures over 90 percent of the aircraft in the Michigan factory. Therefore, Enstrom continues to enjoy an unequaled ability to support its product as parts production control is maintained in-house. Product Support records in 2009 continue to provide evidence of that control as 94 percent of AOG orders were shipped within one day; 99 percent within one week. Enstrom will go the extra mile to keep our customers flying.

As good as the last 50 years have been, it’s the next 50 years that Enstrom is focused on. Innovation, market diversification, and excellent product support are the keys to the future. This past year saw continued success for the Chelton EFIS installation in the 480B. In addition, Enstrom developed a new agricultural spray installation, a powerline detection system, and new surveillance options in 2009. Enstrom constantly strives to improve the safety, versatility, and durability of its helicopters.

Enstrom Helicopter Corporation 2209 22nd Street Menominee, MI 49858 Phone: 1-906-863-1200 E-mail: Web:

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