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Enstrom Helicopters Closes Doors, Enters Bankruptcy

The Wisconsin-based helicopter manufacturer had struggled to gain a foothold in the marketplace.

Enstrom TH-480B. Photo by Hunini

Enstrom Helicopters, which was founded in the late ’50s and which has turned out nearly 1,500 helicopters in that time, is closing shop on Friday (January 21, 2022) and entering Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings, the company announced yesterday. Founded in 1959 by self-taught designer Rudy Enstrom, the company built both light piston-engine-powered utility and training models based on its F-28, and since 1993, a larger, turbine-powered five-seater, the Enstrom 480.

In the release announcing the closure, Dennis Martin, Enstrom’s director of sales and marketing, wrote, “After 64 years of continuous operations, Enstrom will be closing its doors on January 21, 2002… due to several financial difficulties.” He added that “parts, technical support, overhauls and new aircraft will no longer be available from the factory.” He added that all employees, including senior management, would be terminated.

Martin wrote that the company was aware of “multiple groups [which] have expressed strong interest in buying Enstrom’s assets and reopening the company post-bankruptcy,” though he added that Enstrom has “no control” over the process, and he expressed hope that “a new Enstrom will be in a position to support you and your customers relatively quickly.”

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