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Sun, Apr 07, 2024

Enstrom Ships 480B Helos to Zambia

Affordable, LIght Helicopter Manufacturers Continue to Collect Intriguing Clientele Around the World

Enstrom Helicopter Company announced the delivery of a pair of 480B turbine helicopters to the Zambian Air Force, inaugurating the new aircraft type with a ceremonial handover.

The ZAF was happy to add the novel aircraft to its fleet, planning to put them into use as general utility, patrol, rescue, and training aircraft. Perhaps most interestingly, the Zambians will use the aircraft as anti-poaching birds when the occasion calls for, always a popular mission out West. The ceremony raised some eyebrows with quite a bit more pageantry than most aircraft deliveries are met with. Enstrom senior tech rep Bayard DuPont said the ceremony was really something to behold: "It included amazing dance choreography, courtesy of the Air Power Cultural Dance Troupe, and that was truly special."

The delivery caps off a deal that was struck in February of 2023 using the nearby distributor Safomar Aviation Group of South Africa. Safomar operates a regional MRO and a flight school, providing a useful anchor location for all customers throughout the sub-Saharan Africa market.

Enstrom CCO Dennis Martin said they're always happy to see their aircraft make their way to a new home. "We are very excited to be partnering with the Zambian Air Force. Beyond just typical uses like flight training or utility operations, these versatile helicopters will be used for missions like anti-poaching and public safety. They are going to be productive assets for the Zambian people."

Zambia presaged the delivery by sending some of its maintainers to school last year. That allowed the ZAF to have in-house knowledge to keep their new steeds in a fine fettle throughout their operational lifecycle.

"They took their studies very seriously," said Martin. "We made it clear, they will always have our support, but given the distance between Menominee and Lusaka, we believed it essential for local Zambians to understand all the subtle nuances of an Enstrom's inner workings without having to rely on experts seven time zones away."

FMI: www.enstromhelicopter.com

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