History in the Making

From our earliest designs in 1943 to an internationally trusted helicopter manufacturer, Enstrom’s legacy continues to flourish.

From Iron Mine to Skyline

In 1943, Rudy Enstrom, an iron mine mechanic, began his journey in aviation – and in 1957 successfully tested his homebuilt helicopter in a quarry in the Upper Peninsula town of Crystal Falls, Michigan.

Officially founded in 1959, Enstrom Helicopter has since grown to international acclaim as a globally trusted helicopter, with a legacy spanning over six decades.


Founder Rudy Enstrom, then President Jack Christensen, and Salesman Fred Hill test a two-bladed experimental helicopter; the F-27.


The Enstrom reputation reaches international acclaim at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France.


The FAA certifies the Enstrom 280C and is recognized as one of the “25 Best Designs” of the year by Fortune Magazine.


Enstrom introduces the F28F Falcon as the workhorse of the Enstrom fleet. This helicopter serves police forces, agricultural sprayers, training organizations, utility workers, private fliers and wildlife conservationists around the world. FAA Certified in 1980, the F28F has a long history as a safe, hard working, quality product.



The 480 series of Enstrom turbine helicopters were introduced upon FAA certification in November 1993. It quickly established itself as the best value-for-the-money aircraft in the light turbine class.

Delivered 18 480B’s to the Indonesian National Police.
Delivered 30 480B’s to the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force for pilot training.
Delivered 10 480B’s to the Royal Thai Army to be used for advanced pilot training.
Order complete for the Royal Thai Army by delivering all 16 helicopters. Work begins on the Japan contract, with eight helicopters delivered by the end of the year.
Enstrom factory expansion – doubling the size of the facility & increasing the workforce.
Over 40 helicopters delivered to militaries, training facilities & customers across the world.
Introduction of all-glass instrument panels.
12 helicopters sold at HAI HELI-EXPO.
Opening of new repair station.

Moving Forward

Fueled by American ingenuity, we continue to grow, innovate, and evolve – increasing our workforce, making more readily-available parts, innovating our fleet, and increasing production of all new helicopters.

Our longevity and resurgence as a leading, American-made helicopter manufacturer is proof of our dedication to the aviation community, our customers, and every team member at Enstrom.

Enstrom 480

Be a Part of Our Legacy

Whether looking for your next helicopter or next career opportunity, you can be a part of the growth and future of Enstrom.