Enstrom Helicopter Corporation
BAN's World GazetteerMichigan
Enstrom Helicopter Corporation is excited for the flight of the first new 480B helicopter after reopening just eight months ago. The manufacturer was purchased by Surack Enterprises in May 2022 after it filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy earlier that year.
The turbine-powered 480B is the 1,317th Enstrom helicopter built and the 255th 480 series helicopter. This aircraft wasn't an unfinished left-over airframe, but was built using components procured, machined, fabricated and assembled on site.
The stunning black and grey helicopter was piloted by Enstrom production test pilot Cody Parkovich. “It flew great,” he says. “No issues. We were able to complete all our flight test steps on schedule. The team did a great job putting this helicopter together.”
Chief operating officer Adam Richardson adds: “This was a critical milestone in our plan to not just bring back Enstrom, but to start to reinvent ourselves and the way we operate. It took all functions to focus on the objective: new supplier relationships, new machinists and fabricators and, luckily many from prior years, better print definitions, a high standard of workmanship and everyone onsite helping each other cross-functionally to bring us back online.”
The new helicopter will be showcased at HAI Heli-Expo in Atlanta, Georgia in March. Enstrom will retain the aircraft and use it to certify new upgrades and planned future improvements.