Aerial Warfare

Zambia Air Force Inaugurates Enstrom 480B Turbine Light Helicopters

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Zambia Air Force Inaugurates Enstrom 480B Turbine Light Helicopters

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Zambia Air Force Inaugurates Enstrom 480B Turbine Light Helicopters
Zambia Air Force Inaugurates Enstrom 480B Turbine Light Helicopters

On March 25, Zambia Air Force (ZAF) welcomed two newly delivered Enstrom 480B turbine light helicopters into its fleet. Enstrom representatives joined ZAF personnel for an induction ceremony in Lusaka, featuring speeches, food, photos, and traditional entertainment. Enstrom representatives finalized the sale in February 2023 with the Zambia Ministry of Defence. South Africa Safomar Aviation Group assisted in managing logistics, specifications, and helicopter configuration. Safomar operates a regional MRO and a flight school, helping maintain Enstrom helicopters throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

“The induction ceremony was amazing! It included amazing dance choreography, courtesy of the Air Power Cultural Dance Troupe, and that was truly special.” said Enstrom Senior Tech Representative Bayard duPont.

ZAF Commander, Lieutenant General Oscar Msitu Nyoni said,“The Air Force will use these helicopters for training and utility missions.”

Enstrom CCO Dennis Martin said, “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. They took their studies very seriously. 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”

The Enstrom 480 is a small, light helicopter produced by the Enstrom Helicopter Corporation. The 480B, with its high-level performance and quick reconfiguration options, will offer the ZAF a level of efficiency and flexibility that other light helicopters cannot. Each helicopter is equipped with the latest in Garmin avionics and glass panels. One helicopter will feature a full glass panel, the other, an analog hybrid, allowing student pilots to gain experience with both. As part of the contract, Enstrom hosted Zambian mechanics in October 2023 for a week of maintenance training. From Rudy Enstrom’s early designs in 1943 to initial testing in a Michigan Quarry in 1957 to aircraft operating on six continents, Enstrom Helicopter Corporation has maintained a reputation for safety, value and performance. Based in Menominee, Michigan and proudly made in the United States, Enstrom has a rich history for design innovation. The goal is to provide helicopters to the customer’s exact specification and deliver support and maintenance worldwide.

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