Rotorcraft Outlooks See Downs Coming Before Ups

A pair of industry surveys by engine-makers Honeywell and Rolls-Royce point to continued decline in the turbine rotorcraft market through next year. Long-term outlooks continue to be optimistic, though Honeywell predicts the uptick might not arrive until 2014. The declines in sales are blamed on high inventories and tight credit conditions. One bright spot in the picture is Latin America, where operators' "purchase plans" have increased by 107 percent this year, following a dip of 45 percent last year. The hike is attributed to needs from the oil and gas industry. As a blend of civil and military business, Rolls-Royce predicts overall modest growth in the near term, and solid long-term prospects.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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