Enstrom Launches Economic Two-Seat TH180 Helicopter

Smaller version of 280FX targets training market.

Among several new helicopter introductions at Heli-Expo in Anaheim, California, this week was a new trainer from Enstrom Helicopter Corp. The bright orange helicopter the Menominee, Michigan-based company unveiled at its booth at the Anaheim Convention Center’s show floor is a mockup of the two-seat TH180, a scaled down version of the three-seat 280FX, which was certified in the mid-1980s.

Being designed with the training market in mind, Enstrom says the TH180 is built to be rugged, with shock absorbing skid landing gear, and economical while providing good head- and legroom for the instructor and student. The main rotor is powered by a Lycoming HIO-390 engine, burning less than 12 gallons per hour and the hourly operating cost is expected to be around $175, according to Enstrom’s estimates.

While the TH180 was primarily designed for the training market, other suitable missions for the light helicopter include patrol, surveillance and personal transport, according to Enstrom’s director of sales and marketing Orlando Alaniz.

“I think you will be elated to see what this helicopter will do,” said former Enstrom president and CEO Jerry Mullins, whose retirement was formally announced at the unveiling but who is staying on as a consultant until the end of this year. Former vice president Tracy Biegler is taking over as Enstrom’s leader.

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