THE GLOBAL HELICOPTER BLADES MARKET IS PROJECTED TO WITNESS HEALTHY GROWTH RATE
The global helicopter blades market is segmented based on helicopter type as civil and parapublic, military, and civil/military. Military and civil/military segments currently dominate the helicopter blades market, driven by high deliveries of helicopters and large fleet size. H125, H135, and H145 of Airbus Helicopters, Black Hawk of Sikorsky, A-64 Apache of Boeing, and AW139 of Agusta Westland are amongst the key helicopter models which are driving the demand for blades in these segments. Civil and parapublic segment is projected to witness the highest growth during the forecast period, driven by increasing demand for light single-engine and intermediate & medium twin-engine civil helicopters.
Based on the material type, composites is likely to remain the largest and fastest-growing material type during the forecast period. The materials’ potential in structural applications has been recognized since long by the Helicopter manufacturers. Military helicopters use composites ranging from 50% to 80% of the total airframe weight. The usage of composites varies significantly in civil helicopters. Some civil helicopter manufacturers are using composites extensively, whereas some are using them mainly in the non-structural applications. Blades are also not untouched with such dynamics and major helicopter manufacturers are increasingly adopting composite blades in their upcoming models. At the same time, there is also an increasing demand for composite blades in the aftermarket.
Based on blade location type, main rotor blade is projected to remain the largest type during the forecast period. Both main rotor and tail rotor blades are likely to witness similar growth over the next five years. There is an increasing penetration of composite materials in both the blade types.
Europe is projected to remain the largest and fastest-growing market for helicopter blades market during the forecast period. The region is the manufacturing capital of the helicopter industry with the presence of Airbus Helicopters, Agusta Westland, and Russian Helicopters. All the major helicopter manufacturers are producing blades in Europe only.
The supply chain of this market comprises raw material manufacturers, helicopter rotor and tail blade manufacturers, helicopter OEMs, MRO, and end users, such as oil & gas companies and military division of countries. The raw material manufacturers are Rio Tinto Group, Toray Industries, AGY Holdings, Owens Corning, Hexcel Corporation, and Evonik Industries. The key helicopter OEMs are Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter Group), Bell Helicopter, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, Robinson Helicopter Company, Boeing, AgustaWestland S.p.A (now Leonardo)., and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
There are independent rotor and tail blade manufacturers as well as OEMs with in-house blade manufacturing capability. Most of the OEMs are currently having captive manufacturing of both rotor and tail blades. They do not sell rotor and tail blades to other OEMs. The key helicopter blade manufacturers are Bell Helicopter, Boeing Helicopter, Carson Helicopters, Airbus Helicopters, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Kaman Aerosystems, Robinson Helicopter Company, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, and Van Horn Aviation. New product development, collaboration with OEMs, and long-term contacts are the key strategies adopted by the key players to gain a competitive edge in the market.
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