Shemar Alexander/Senior Reporter
Helicopter manufacturer Enstrom is making its way back up the ladder by introducing its new training helicopter, the TH180. The company suffered a severe decrease in sales and status as other helicopter manufactures were creating more affordable aircraft in the training market. The company was bought by a Chinese company called The Chongqing Helicopter Investment Company in late December 2012. Since the purchase of Enstrom, the company has had great success making its way back up the ladder to be a top contender in the helicopter market.
The Chinese owners have made some changes by doubling the size of the Menonminee factory to rival any factory in Wichita in areas of workmanship, technology and quality control. They anticipate the sales of their TH180 training helicopter to be successful enough to produce an even larger turbine version of the helicopter. The Enstrom TH180 was introduced early last year and should be certificated by the end of 2015. The TH180 does however feature many of Enstrom’s strengths, such as flight safety and lower operating costs for its life-limited components. Preliminary deliveries are scheduled for 2016.