Shanghai helicopter firm inks major deal at Zhuhai Airshow


Visitors experience a light-duty helicopter manufactured by Duofu Aviation Industry Group at the 14th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, Guangdong province. [Photo provided to]

Duofu Aviation Industry Group, a Shanghai-based light-duty helicopter manufacturer, sealed an agreement to supply 155 helicopters with 180 horsepower turbo-shaft engines to both domestic and global clients at the 14th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, Guangdong province.

These orders were placed by Taiyuan-based Shanxi Longcheng Flying Eagle Development Co Ltd and a number of foreign companies during the grand event, better known as the Zhuhai Airshow, which concluded on Sunday, the company said in a statement.

Emerging countries have already formed a significant market of general aviation according to a White Paper on General Aviation Industry Development (2022) released by State-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China Ltd during the airshow.

The document concluded that BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries are seeing more growth potential while being in possession of about 45,000 general aviation airplanes, accounting for about 10 percent of the world's total.

For instance, Shanxi Longcheng Flying Eagle Aviation Development Co Ltd plans to partner with Duofu Aviation to build a national air network connecting lower-tier cities and counties by setting up 80 flight bases across the country in the coming years.

Eager to enhance its growth strength, Duofu Group, the parent company of Duofu Aviation, acquired Italian helicopter manufacturer Fama Helicopters SRL in late June.

With its business covering helicopter and engine manufacturing as well as the construction and operation of airports for general aviation, Duofu Aviation currently runs a number of research and manufacturing facilities in Shanghai, Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, Milan, Italy and Vancouver, Canada.

As light and ultralight helicopters are forecast to be the most popular market segments in China's civil helicopter market, general aviation business in the aerial emergency rescue, short-haul transport and low-altitude tourism are expected to grow further thanks to government support and soaring market demand, said Zhao Ying, a researcher at the Institute of Industrial Economics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing.

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