Chinese Investment Firm Buys Enstrom

New ownership has plans to continue expansion.

Enstrom 480B

Menominee, Michigan-based Enstrom Helicopters is now owned by Chongqing Helicopter Investment Co. Enstrom president Jerry Mullins emphasized that the company’s U.S. presence would continue to grow, saying, “It will provide Enstrom with the needed resources to enhance marketing efforts in China and around the world.”

Enstrom has plans to continue expansion in Menominee, having grown its employee roster by 50 percent in the last year and a half. Mullins said the company will also expand its facility to accommodate increased production. The new funding source will also enhance product improvement efforts, marketing, product support and manufacturing refinement efforts aimed at increasing efficiency.

Funding from the new ownership is also expected to increase production rates of Enstrom’s existing line. That includes the turboshaft-powered 480B and the piston-powered F28F and 280FX models. The company markets two law-enforcement versions of the 480B and 280FX models, known as the “Guardian” versions.

Enstrom was founded in 1959 by Rudy Enstrom and has had several owners in the time since then, including attorney-pilot F. Lee Bailey and Segway inventor Dean Kamen.