A definitive report on the Flight Helicopter Forecast (FHF) to 2027 reveals potential growth for the rotorcraft industry, with 8,350 new civil turbine helicopters worth $46 billion set to be delivered in the next 10 years. The report, prepared by Flight Ascend Consultancy and published by FlightGlobal, highlights the key industries that will help drive growth and the trends shaping the future of the industry.
Among the top five industries set for transformation, 34% of anticipated rotorcraft deliveries are predicted to be in the business, passenger and private sector, followed by 23% in utility and 18% in Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS). Also completing the top five, law enforcement and offshore support offer the next big opportunity, with deliveries of 12% and 8% respectively.
HEMS – an essential component of the global healthcare industry – has already been recognised as one of the top three market trends driving growth over the next five years, as previously covered on the Helitech blog, while the offshore sector is showing early signs of optimism for 2018 and beyond.
The report recognises that in the short term (2018), despite the overwhelming positive outlook, deliveries will be impacted by the slowdown witnessed over the last three years (2015-2017) – a result of the oil market slump and economic uncertainty across several regions. However, the rise in oil prices and a more efficient cost structure is leading to new investment and a hope that the exploration downturn has stabilised in the offshore sector.
Despite some need for operators to be more cost conscious and nimble going forward, the Flight Helicopter Forecast (FHF) to 2027 sets the tone for a positive future, and with the continued delivery of recently launched models from Bell and Airbus – we’re confident that this will help to further stimulate demand, firstly for replacement, and later for growth.
Rotorcraft innovation in the wider transport industries
The global rotorcraft industry’s investment in innovation is key to its future, and with the likes of Airbus, ride-sharing firm Uber and Google’s Kitty Hawk all focusing R&D projects on the future of air-taxis, it comes as little surprise that the business, passenger and private sector will see such growth, as reflected in the Flight Helicopter Forecast (FHF) to 2027. Developments in personal aircraft have also seen companies such as Aston Martin and Rolls-Royce unveil plans for autonomous flying cars.
For example, Rolls-Royce recently unveiled a concept four- to five-passenger hybrid electric/turbine VTOL aircraft concept with a 250-mph top speed and a 500-mile range. The EVTOL, which was presented as part the company’s showcase at this year’s Farnborough International Airshow, uses six electronic rotors for vertical take-off and landing, giving it access to helipads and other small landing zones.
With such a vibrant market demonstrating innovation at a rapid pace, this year’s Helitech International 2018 will be a hive of activity with operators looking for the technologies that will deliver these new concept aircraft.