1. Market Research
  2. > Aerospace and Defence Market Trends

Optionally Piloted Helicopters : “Get Unmanned or Die Trying?” Redefining User Limits

  • January 2015
  • 72 pages
  • Frost & Sullivan
Report ID: 2630533


Table of Contents

Executive Summary

•The rise of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) is shaking the aviation industry, including helicopters. Recent research programs in North America and Europe have been looking at integrating unmanned aerial technology with existing helicopter capabilities, hence developing a manned/unmanned capable platform, also called an Optionally Piloted Helicopter (OPH).
•Presently restricted to a test-bed status, why should the helicopter industry consider investing in optionally piloted aircraft? OPH first trials, including operational deployments of certain platforms, have successfully demonstrated extended mission capability and reduced operating costs when flown in segregated airspaces, offering increased flexibility with a safety pilot on-board in non-segregated zones.
•Such performance, combined with better safety record prospects, will potentially offer an attractive solution to cost-conscious helicopter operators across military and civil markets. Therefore, OPHs could soon evolve from test platforms towards low levels of production and then to higher levels adoption.
•However, several barriers prevent such adoption. As a matter of fact, OPHs are facing similar challenges as UAS, despite offering different operational benefits. Regulations, ‘Sense and Avoid’ technology, and endurance/payload trade-offs are hindering OPH market entry in the coming years. Nonetheless, OPHs are poised to grow as they will pave the way towards complete UAS adoption.

Market Definition

•Optionally Piloted Helicopter:
•An aircraft that is integrated with UAS technology and still retains the capability of being flown by an on-board pilot using conventional control methods.
•Current UAS technology development projects include modifying manned aircraft. Today’s advanced technology in control systems and software permits modifications to traditional flight controls that enable command of the aircraft to be affected from outside the cockpit. Control can be affected through a data link or pre-programmed into the aircraft’s autopilot/flight management system. Airworthiness Certification Of Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Optionally Piloted Aircraft
•US Department of Transportation,
•Federal Aviation Administration,
•National policy,
•Order 8130.34B
•Section 3, 3-9
•Appendix F, -F1

Key Questions

What does OPH bring to capability and operational flexibility?
What are the key roles and missions for OPH platforms?
What are the main OPH programs and the capability gaps within these programs?
Is there any market opportunity; where are the market opportunities?
How big is the market adoption rate and timescale?
What are the cost/performance implications for OPH compared to conventional helicopters and RUAVs*?
Who are the leading stakeholders in these programs?
What will be the impact on the helicopter industry?

Get Industry Insights. Simply.

  • Latest reports & slideshows with insights from top research analysts
  • 60 Million searchable statistics with tables, figures & datasets
  • More than 25,000 trusted sources
  • Single User License — provides access to the report by one individual.
  • Department License — allows you to share the report with up to 5 users
  • Site License — allows the report to be shared amongst all employees in a defined country
  • Corporate License — allows for complete access, globally.

Veronica helps you find the right report:


The research specialist advised us on the best content for our needs and provided a great report and follow-up, thanks very much we shall look at ReportLinker in the future.

Kate Merrick

Global Marketing Manager at
Eurotherm by Schneider Electric

We were impressed with the support that ReportLinker’s research specialists’ team provided. The report we purchased was useful and provided exactly what we want.

Category Manager at

ReportLinker gave access to reliable and useful data while avoiding dispersing resources and spending too much time on unnecessary research.

Executive Director at
PwC Advisory

The customer service was fast, responsive, and 100% professional in all my dealings (...) If we have more research needs, I'll certainly prioritize working with ReportLinker!

Scott Griffith

Vice President Marketing at
Maurice Sporting Goods

The research specialist provided prompt, helpful instructions for accessing ReportLinker's product. He also followed up to make sure everything went smoothly and to ensure an easy transition to the next stage of my research

Jessica P Huffman

Research Associate at
American Transportation Research Institute

Excellent customer service. Very responsive and fast.

Director, Corporate Strategy at

I reached out to ReportLinker for a detailed market study on the Air Treatment industry. The quality of the report, the research specialist’s willingness to solve my queries exceeded my expectations. I would definitely recommend ReportLinker for in-depth industry information.

Mariana Mendoza

Global Platform Senior Manager at
Whirlpool Corporation

Thanks! I like what you've provided and will certainly come back if I need to do further research works.

Bee Hin Png

CEO at
LDR Pte Ltd

The research specialist advised us on the best content for our needs and provided a great report and follow-up, thanks very much we shall look at ReportLinker in the future.

Kate Merrick

Global Marketing Manager at
Eurotherm by Schneider Electric

Purchase Reports From Reputable Market Research Publishers

Global Military Helicopter Market - 2017-2026 - Market Dynamics, Competitive Landscape, OEM Strategies & Plans, Trends & Growth Opportunities, Market Outlook

  • $ 1475
  • Industry report
  • August 2017
  • by Noealt Corporate Services

Military helicopters have traditionally been a key element of the force structure of armed forces globally and their rapidly evolving capabilities are making them even more indispensable for conducting ...

The World Market for Helicopters of Unladen Weight Not Exceeding 2,000 Kg: A 2018 Global Trade Perspective

  • $ 995
  • Industry report
  • April 2017
  • by ICON Group

This series was created for international firms who rely on foreign markets for a substantial portion of their business or who might be threatened by international competition. The estimates given in this ...

The 2018-2023 World Outlook for Helicopter Rotors and Parts

  • $ 995
  • Industry report
  • April 2017
  • by ICON Group

This study covers the world outlook for helicopter rotors and parts across more than 190 countries. For each year reported, estimates are given for the latent demand, or potential industry earnings (P.I.E.), ...


Reportlinker.com © Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.

ReportLinker simplifies how Analysts and Decision Makers get industry data for their business.