• An Enstrom 480B turbine. (Enstrom)
    An Enstrom 480B turbine. (Enstrom)

US helicopter manufacturer Enstrom Helicopter closed its factory in Menominee, Michigan, on 21 January after announcing it was filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy effectively liquidates the company with no intent to trade out of the situation.

Enstrom director of sales and marketing Dennis Martin issued a letter to employees stating that all existing contracts and agreements with the company will become ”null and void” and that all employees, thought be around 30 including senior management, were to be laid off.

Several overseas news sourced have reported that several groups have shown interest in acquiring the assets of Enstrom post-bankruptcy, giving hope to employees that the company may re-open in the future.

Enstrom Helicopter has delivered over 1300 helicopters since it was founded by Rudy Enstrom in 1959. At its peak in the 1970s, Enstrom was producing more than 100 aircraft per year, included the Enstrom 480B turbine and F-28F and 280FX piston-engined models.

Chinese conglomerate CGAG bought Enstrom 10 years ago and invested around $US8 million in the company. The last two Enstrom helicopters were delivered to the Peruvian Air Force in December.

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