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 on 13 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. The single-engine
Enstrom 280C was approved on 8 December 1975. This version of the
three-seat light utility helicopter has an upgraded engine, fitted with
a turbocharger. The Enstrom 280F, similar to 280C with more powerful engine,
improved turbocharger and addition of a throttle correlator, was certified
on 31 December 1980. The turbine-powered model 280FX, based on the 280F in which an Allison 250-C20 turbine engine with the
Enstrom drive train and rotor system was integrated, flew first in December 1988. The Enstrom 280FX was certified on 14 January 1985.
This model 280FX differs from the basic model 280F in that the helicopter is equipped with landing gear fairings, a redesigned inlet airscoop,
tail rotor driveshaft fairings, a redesigned and relocated horizontal stabilizer equipped with vertical endplates, a cockpit annunciator panel, and a graphic
The 1988-built Enstrom 280FX s/n 2021, was registered N650PG in the USA. On 27 June 1991, registration PH-GBL was reserved in the Netherlands
for this Enstrom 280FX. On 4 February 1992, the Enstrom 280FX Shark was registered PH-GBL with G. Bloemendaal / Lambo-Rijssen Kunstoffen BV,
Rijssen. This company was the Enstrom Helicopter dealer in the Netherlands, as could be seen by the text "Enstrom Helicopter Imp."
at the tailboom of Enstrom 280FX Shark PH-GBL. On 31 December 1996, the helicopter was registered with Lambo-Rijssen Kunstoffen BV, Rijssen.
On 11 October 1997, registration PH-GBL was cancelled as exported to England, and registration Enstrom 280FX N9609 was reserved in the USA.
It looks like registration N9609 was not taken up. On 11 December 1997, the Enstrom 280FX Shark was registered N8627Q with Enstrom Helicopter
Corp., Menominee, Michigan. On 6 January 1998, registration N8627Q was cancelled as exported to the UK. On 7 January 1998, the helicopter was
registered G-OPDM in the UK with Landcroft Air, Bicton Heath, Shewsbury. On 7 June 2003, Enstrom G-OPDM was registered with Southern Air,
London. On 8 March 2001, Lamindene at Goodwood airfield, was registered as the next owner of Enstrom G-OPDM. On 7 June 2003, in service with
Lamindene, Enstrom 280FX G-OPDM was damaged beyond repair in a forced landing due to engine troubles at the beach of Glenbeigh, County Kerry,
Ireland. On 12 February 2004, registration G-OPDM was cancelled as written off.
On 20 June 1992, Enstrom 280 FX Shark was PH-GBL was seen at Teuge airfield, in service with the Enstrom Helicopter dealer Lambo-Rijssen.