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Helicopter Sales Remain Strong

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The bright spot in the bleak aviation market of the past five years has been helicopters and there's no sign of their continued strong performance abating. In its annual five-year forecast for the industry announced at the opening of the Helicopter Association International Heli-Expo convention in Anaheim, Calif., Honeywell said that while the market will shift some, sales will remain strong. The company predicts worldwide demand for civilian use helicopters at between 4,800 and 5,500 through 2018 with large fleet operator requirements offsetting a slightly softening market in other sectors. Latin America leads the world in new purchase rates and 32 percent of operators will be replacing existing aircraft or adding new ones in the next five years.

More than 25 percent of North American operators are planning purchases and about 23 percent of European companies will be buying new helicopters. "Global demand looks steady on the heels of strong 2013 performance," said Tom Hart, Honeywell's VP of defense and space sales. He also noted that a spate of new aircraft announcements in recent years is helping to drive interest and demand.

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