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HAI R OUNDUP

HeliExpo 2010

Rotorcraft Roundup-Texas Style

By Ron Whitney

For the second time in three years the great city of Houston, Texas played host to the Helicopter Association Interna- tional’s big show, HeliExpo 2010. The George R. Brown Convention Center was center stage for what many believe was a conference that exceeded every- one’s expectations.

In excess of 15,200 attendees and ex- hibitors, 586 exhibiting companies (to in- clude 77 first timers), were on hand for this year’s convention, which included over 60 aircraft on display. While attendance at this year’s show did not set a record, it was certainly quite impressive considering the economic conditions of late. The fact that so many companies were exhibiting for the

first time is a very good sign.

Optimism Abounds

While nearly all agree that the past few years have taken a toll on the rotorcraft industry, everyone seems to agree that the recovery has begun and that the light at the end of the tunnel is drawing near. De- pendent upon which industry visionary you listened to the range of “viable re- covery” was anywhere from mid 2011 to early 2012. Although there were no “earth shattering” aircraft sales announce- ments at this year’s show, all of the major OEMs still have very strong order books and all are indicating that they expect the orders to pick up soon.

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