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What’s Your Turbine Helicopter Worth Today?

What is your aircraft worth on the used turbine helicopter sales market? Find out here as Jeremy Cox assesses the depreciation trends of various in-production models...

Jeremy Cox   |   19th February 2018
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Jeremy Cox Jeremy Cox

As vice president of JetBrokers, Inc., Jeremy Cox enjoys direct interface between aircraft...
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This month Jeremy Cox resumes his series spotlighting points of aircraft value in today’s used aircraft market. Here, he focusses on the popular, in-production turbine helicopter models…

 

Following, we’ll consider a variety of turbine helicopter values. Our value review covers much ground with the featured models ranging in list price between $879k to $17.7m (2017 model).

 

From the standpoint of appraising values, a helicopter is vastly different from a fixed-wing aircraft. For example, the diminution in value normally realized after a damage event for a fixed-wing aircraft usually does not occur in the rotorcraft world. Indeed, a ‘repaired’ helicopter is likely to realize an increase in value.

 

That’s because the specific value is so dependent on the status of the multitude of Life Limited Components (LLCs) that are found in virtually every system of a helicopter. After damage, repair is rarely a safe or approved option. Instead everything is replaced with new - or at the very least certified serviceable items.

 

While helicopters often come equipped with specialized equipment (cameras, spotlights, hoists, stretchers, defibrillators, pop-out floats, scanners, radars, etc.), these rarely enhance the value. But they often reduce value by the cost to remove and recertify the aircraft back to a standard configuration.

 

Fellow appraiser Dick Hart at National Helicopter Service & Engineering Company/Elite Helicopter Tours is likely the world’s foremost helicopter appraiser. He undertakes close to 400 helicopter appraisals yearly, and generally warns appraisers to not include the ancillary equipment in the appraised value of the helicopter as it will have very little value.

 

To illustrate his point, he cites the case of a dedicated Medevac Helicopter. Let’s assume a $1m+ Life Support System is taken as scrap by another hospital that purchases the helicopter. As a matter of standard operating practice the old equipment will always be replaced with new.

 

Pop-out floats, inlet screens/particle separators, aux fuel tanks, avionics equipment (e.g., radar altimeters), air conditioning and wire-strike kits may add value, but these are usually the exceptions to Dick’s rule.

 

Following, we’ll outline the in-production popular helicopter models today and consider something of their list price and retail value on the market, beginning with the most expensive and working our way down…

 

Leonardo AW189 HelicopterLeonardo AW189

 

 

$10m - $20m List Price Category (2017 Model)

Sikorsky S-92: The largest of all current production business helicopters, the S-92 offers a Maximum Gross Take Off Weight (MGTOW) of 26,500 lbs. Carrying 765USGs of Jet A, the aircraft’s range is 547nm. It is powered by two GE CT7-8A engines, each producing 2,043shp.

 

While the list price for a 2017 model S-92 is $17.7m, the residual value of a 2011 model is indicated to be at about 102%, based upon a retail value today of $16.9m.

 

Years of Manufacture: 1998 to date, with 320 built (291 currently active)

 

Leonardo AW189: A retractable gear helicopter, the AW189’s MGTOW is 18,960lbs. It carries 536USGs of Jet A and offers a range of 617nm, and is powered by two Safran Aneto-1K engines, each producing 2,500shp. Today, the Leonardo AW189 has a list price of $15.525m.

 

Years of Manufacture: 2011 to date, with 40 built (36 currently active)

 

Sikorsky S-76D: A retractable gear helicopter, the S-76D offers an MGTOW of 11,700lbs and carries 281USGs of Jet A. It offers as a range of 472nm, and is powered by two PW210S engines, each producing 1,000shp.

 

The residual value of a 2013 model Sikorsky S-76D is currently at about 91% of its new value, based upon a retail value today of $10.5m. (By comparison, a 2001 S-76C+ is about 40% of its new value at $3.3.) A 2017 model Sikorsky S-76D has a list price of $13.5m.

 

Years of Manufacture: 2009 to date, with 88 built (67 currently active)

 

Airbus H155: This retractable gear helicopter has a MGTOW of 10,846 lbs. It carries 332USGs of Jet A, has a range of 489nm, and is powered by two Turbomeca Arriel 2C2 engines, each producing 923shp.

 

The residual value of a 2004 Airbus H155 is currently about 44% of its new value, based upon a retail value today of $3.5m. A 2017 model H155 has a list price of $12.9m.

 

Years of Manufacture: 1999 to date, with 175 built (160 currently active)

 

Airbus AS365 N-3+: The AS365 is a retractable gear helicopter offering a MGTOW of 9,480 lbs. Able to carry 300USGs of Jet A, the AS365 has a range of 427nm, and is powered by two Turbomeca Arriel 2C engines, each producing 961shp.

 

The residual value of a 2006-model Airbus AS365 N-3+ is currently at about 71% of its new price, based upon a retail value today of $5m. A 2017 model Airbus AS365 N-3+ has a list price of $10.9m.

 

Years of Manufacture: 1987 to date, with 227 built (198 currently active)

 

Bell 412EPI: A skid gear helicopter built by Bell Helicopter, the 412EPI has a MGTOW of 11,900lbs. It carries 331USGs of Jet A, boasts a range of 364nm and is powered by two PW PT6T-9 engines, each producing 1,110shp.

 

The residual value of a 2005-model Bell 412EPI is currently at about 69% of its new value, based upon a retail value today of $4.8m. The list price for a 2017 model Bell 412EPI is $10.9m.

 

Years of Manufacture: 1994 to date, with 622 built (468 currently active)

 

Leonardo AW139: A retractable gear helicopter, the MGTOW of the AW139 is 14,110lbs. It carries 551USGs of Jet A, has a range of 573nm and is powered by two PW PT6C-67C engines, each producing 1,679shp. The Leonardo AW139 has a 2017 list price of $10m.

 

Years of Manufacture: 2001 to date, with 844 built (771 currently active)

 

Bell 407GXP HelicopterBell 407GXP

 

 

$5m - $9.99m List Price Category (2017 Model)

Leonardo AW169: A retractable gear helicopter, the AW169 has a MGTOW of 10,141lbs. It carries 298USGs of Jet A, has a range of 440nm, and is powered by two PW210A engines, each producing 1,010shp. The AW169 has a 2017 list price of $8.5m.

 

Years of Manufacture: 2015 to date, with 44 built (43 currently active)

 

Leonardo A109E-PE: A retractable gear helicopter the MGTOW of the A109E-PE is 6,614lbs. It carries 224USGs of Jet A, has a range of 503nm, and is powered by two Turbomeca Arrius 2K1 engines, each producing 670shp.

 

As a predecessor, the residual value of a 2007 Leonardo A109S Grand is currently at about 47% of its new price, based upon a retail value today of $2.8m. The Leonardo A109E-PE has a 2017 list price of $8.1m.

 

Years of Manufacture: 2015 to date, with three built (two currently active)

 

McDonnell Douglas-Hughes MD902: A Skid Gear helicopter, the MD902 has a MGTOW of 6,500lbs, and carries 159USGs of Jet A, offers a range of 328nm, and is powered by two PW207E engines, each capable of developing 572 continuous shaft horsepower.

 

The residual value of a 2006 McDonnell Douglas MD902 is currently at about 47% of its new price, based upon a retail value today of $3.15m. A 2017 model MD902 has a list price of $7.2m.

 

Years of Manufacture: 1996 to date, with 91 built (81 currently active)

 

Airbus H135: A skid gear helicopter, the H135’s MGTOW is 6,570lbs. It carries 185USGs of Jet A, has a range of 342nm and is powered by two Turbomeca Arrius 2B2+ engines, each producing 708shp.

 

The residual value of a 2004 Airbus H135 is currently at about 58% of its new price, based upon a retail value today of $2 m. The list price for a 2017 model H135 is $6.2m.

 

Years of Manufacture: 1994 to date, with 1,251 built (1,090 currently active)

 

Bell 429: A skid gear helicopter the MGTOW of the Bell 429 is 7,000lbs. It carries 217USGs of Jet A, has a range of 411nm, and is powered by two PW207D1 engines, each producing 1,100shp.

 

The residual value of a 2012 Bell 429 is currently at about 67% of its new price, based upon a retail value today of $5m. The 2017 model Bell 429 has a list price of $6.1m.

 

Years of Manufacture: 2006 to date, with 339 built (298 currently active)

 

Robinson R66 Helicopter

 

 

$0.5m - $4.99m List Price Category (2017 Model)


Airbus H130: A skid gear helicopter, the MGTOW of the H130 is 5,512lbs. It carries 143USGs of Jet A, has a range of 333nm, and is powered by a single Turbomeca Arriel 2D engine producing 952shp.

 

The residual value of a 2009 Airbus H130 is currently at about 63% of its new value, based upon a retail value today of $1.9m. A 2017 model Airbus H130 has a list price of $3.3m.

 

Years of Manufacture: 2000 to date, with 667 built (632 currently active)

 

Bell 407GXP: With an MGTOW of 5,000lbs this skid gear helicopter carries 82USGs of Jet A, has a range of 337nm, and is powered by one RR M250-C47B/8 engine producing 862shp.

 

The residual value of a 2006 model Bell 407GXP is currently extremely healthy at about 112% of its new value, based upon a retail value today of $1.9m. A 2017 model Bell 407GXP has a list price of $2.9m.

 

Years of Manufacture: 1995 to date, with 1,601 built (1,417 currently active)

 

McDonnell Douglas-Hughes MD520N: Offering an MGTOW of 3,350lbs, the skid gear MD520N carries 64USGs of Jet A and has a range of 210nm. It is powered by one RR 250-C20R/2 engine producing 420shp.

 

The residual value of a 1999 McDonnell Douglas MD520N is currently at about 82 % of its new value, based upon a retail value today of $1.1m. A 2017-model MD520N has a list price of $2.5m.

 

Years of Manufacture: 1992 to date, with 112 built (92 currently active)

 

Bell 206L-4: The 4,450lbs MGTOW skid gear 206L-4 carries 111USGs of Jet A, has a range of 253nm, and is powered by one 650shp RR 250-C30P engine. The residual value of a 2002 Bell 206L-4 is currently at about 94%, based upon a retail value today of $1.3m. Meanwhile, the 2017 list price of a Bell 206L-4 is $2.25m.

 

Years of Manufacture: 1994 to date, with 494 built (428 currently active)

 

McDonnell Douglas-Hughes MD530F: A skid gear helicopter offering 3,100lbs MGTOW, the MD530F carries 64USGs of Jet A, has a range of 260nm, and is powered by one RR 250-C30F engine producing 650shp.

 

The residual value of a 2009 McDonnell Douglas MD530F is currently an exceptional 125% of its new value, based upon a retail value today of $1.9m. Today, a 2017 model MD530F has a list price of $2.2m.

 

Years of Manufacture: 1984 to date, with 201 built (174 currently active)

 

Airbus H120: A skid gear helicopter the MGTOW of the H120 is 3,781lbs. It carries 765USGs of Jet A, has a range of 547nm, and is powered by one Turbomeca Arriel 2D engine producing 952shp. The residual value of a 2002 Airbus H120 is currently about 83% of its new value, based upon a retail value today of $839k. A 2017 model Airbus H120 has a list price of $2m.

 

Years of Manufacture: 1998 to date, with 693 built (596 currently active)

 

McDonnell Douglas-Hughes MD500E: The MGTOW of this skid gear helicopter is 3,000lbs. It carries 64USGs of Jet A, has a range of 290nm, and is powered by one RR 250-C20R/2 engine producing 420shp. The residual value of a 2002 McDonnell Douglas MD500E is currently at about 70% of its new price, based upon a retail value today of $900k. A 2017 model MD500E has a list price of $1.55m.

 

Years of Manufacture: 1983 to date, with 402 built (307 currently active)

 

Bell 505: Carrying 107USGs of Jet A, the Bell 505 has a range of 383nm, is powered by one Turbomeca Arrius 2K1 engine producing 504shp, and offers 3,781lbs MGTOW. This skid gear helicopter model has a 2017 list price of $1.2m.

 

Years of Manufacture: 2017 to date, with 20 built (15 currently active)

 

Enstrom 480/B: MGTOW for the 480/B is 3,000lbs. This skid gear helicopter can carry 90USGs of Jet A, has a range of 370nm, and is powered by one RR 250-C20W Engine producing 420shp. The residual value of a 2007 Enstrom 480/B is currently at about 94%, based upon a retail value today of $775k. The list price for a 2017 model is $1.1m.

 

Years of Manufacture: 1994 to date, with 245 built (223 currently active)

 

Robinson R66: The MGTOW of the R66 is 2,700lbs, and it carries 73USGs of Jet A, has a range of 350nm, and is powered by one RR 300 engine producing 270shp. Residual value for a 2013 Robinson R66 is currently at about 84%, based upon a retail value today of $700k. A 2017 model R66 has a list price of $879k.

 

Years of Manufacture: 2011 to date, with 833 built (815 currently active)

 

Some Upgrades with Value

By way of conclusion, we offer the following of some of the modifications, and/or options that are frequently found on a Turbine Helicopter during an appraisal. In brackets are their perceived add-on values:

 

  • Air Conditioning ($20k to $80k)
  • Aux Fuel Tanks ($17k to $85k)
  • Bird-Proof Windshield ($7.5k)
  • Cargo Hook ($40k)
  • Emergency Services Comms Equip. ($10k to $100k)
  • High Skids ($15k)
  • Hoist/Winch ($75k to $150k)
  • Litter/Stretcher ($5k to $10k)
  • Medical Interior - Full Life-Support ($200k to $1m)
  • Pop-Out Floats ($40k to $90k)
  • Radar Altimeter ($15k)
  • Remote Searchlight ($10k to $30k)
  • Retractable Landing Gear ($100k to $180k)
  • Sand Filter/Particle Separator ($15k to 25k)
  • Sliding Door ($25k to $45k)
  • Snow Skids ($10k)
  • Wire Strike Kit ($10k to $20k)

 

 

 


Read more about: Helicopter Ownership | Helicopters For Sale | Airbus Helicopters | Bell Helicopter | Robinson R66

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