Renewed Enstrom completes first flight of 400 series helicopter
February 1, 2023 By Helicopters Staff
Enstrom Helicopter based in Menominee, Michigan, on January 30 announce it completed the first flight of its 480B helicopter, after reopening eight months ago. Wholly owned by Surack Enterprises, Enstrom over more than 60 years has manufactured more than 1,300 aircraft operated in 50-plus countries
The turbine-powered 480B is the 1,317th Enstrom helicopter built, and the 255th 480 series helicopter. Enstrom notes the aircraft was not completed from an unfinished or left-over airframe, but was instead built using components procured, machined, fabricated, and assembled onsite.
The helicopter, which the company plans to unveil at the upcoming HAI Heli-Expo show in Atlanta, Georgia, from March 6 to 9, was piloted by Enstrom Production Test Pilot Cody Parkovich. “It flew great,” said Parkovich. “No issues. We were able to complete all our flight test steps on schedule. The team did a great job putting this helicopter together.”
After the HAI event, Enstrom plans to retain the helicopter and use it to certify new upgrades and planned future improvements.
“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,” said Adam Richardson, COO, Enstrom. “It took all functions to focus on the objective. New supplier relationships, new machinists and fabricators and, luckily, many from prior years, [as well as] better print definitions, a high standard of workmanship, and everyone onsite helping each other cross-functionally to bring us back online.”
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