The R.J. Enstrom Corporation, named after its initiator Rudy Enstrom,
was officially organised in 1959 in Menominee, Michigan. Their first
more thoroughly engineered helicopter design was the F-28. The two-seat
prototype of the F-28 was flown first on 12 November 1960, followed by
the first of two three-seat production prototypes on 26 May 1962.
Initial FAA certification was achieved for the F-28 model on 15 April 1965.
The Enstrom F-28 was built in limited quantities. A more powerful
version, the F-28A, was certified on 28 May 1968. This helicopter entered
full rate production, and over 300 helicopters of this model were
manufactured. After ownership of the company changed in January 1971, the
company name was changed into Enstrom Helicopter Corporation. A
collaboration between a Boston industrial design firm and the Enstrom
engineering team yielded a new aerodynamically styled airframe, the 280
Shark. This new model was certified in September 1974 and immediately
put into production. Over the years a number of models were developed
and produced based on the body style of the 280. After preliminary
market and design studies Enstrom initiated the development of a larger,
turbine-powered helicopter in 1988. Two versions were to be developed: a
three-seat military trainer, the TH-28, and a five-seat, commercial
helicopter, the 480. The turbine-powered 280FX, a modified
piston-powered model in which an Allison 250-C20 turbine engine with the
Enstrom drive train and rotor system was integrated, flew first in
December 1988. The maiden flight of the 480 with wider cabin was on
7 October 1989, and the TH-28 was flown first in 1990. A production
representative helicopter made its maiden flight on 21 December 1991.
The TH-28 was granted FAA certification to C.A.R. Part 6 standards in
September 1992. Initial FAA certification for the 480 was received on
7 June 1993; in December 1994, the approval was extended to FAR 27
standards. Development of the more capable 480B variant powered by the
Rolls Royce/ Allison 250-C20W turbine powerplant had begun in the spring
of 1999, and FAA certification of the new model was obtained on 9
The 2003-built Enstrom 480B Turbine N480MS is powered by a Rolls-Royce 250-C20-SER turbo-shaft engine.
Enstrom N480MS was flown first on 06 April 2003. Enstrom N480MS was registered with Snijders Helicopters Inc.
Trustee, Wilmington (DE) on 21 April 2003 and was operated by Snijders Air Services out of Antwerp Airport
in Belgium. On 20 April 2011, the Enstrom was sold and registered with RAC Services Inc. in Dover (DE) on 29 April 2011.