Sikorsky announced Tuesday that the kingdom of Bahrain had signed a letter of acceptance for nine Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters, the first export sale for the variant. Handled through foreign military sales channels, the acquisition is costing $204 million. The UH-60M is the latest Black Hawk version, featuring uprated engines and gearbox, wide-chord rotor blades and a digital, open-architecture avionics suite.
Rotorcraft » Rotorcraft Aircraft
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft.
Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertling made it clear at a press conference here in Paris that there will be no synergy between the Korean Helicopter Program (KHP) and the EC 175. Although these two programs share the same class–seven metric tons (5,400 pounds)–and the same timing–first flight in mid 2009–they are completely different, he asserted.
Sikorsky is confident its upgraded medium-twin helicopter, the S-76D, will make its first flight in the fourth quarter of next year, vice president Europe Bruce McKinney said here at the show during a press conference on Monday. The program’s schedule slipped at some point because of resources being reallocated to the military CH-53K but the S-76D program is now fully staffed, McKinney told Aviation International News.
Pratt & Whitney and Honeywell announced yesterday here at Le Bourget that they have agreed to work together to develop a new, 3,000-shp turboshaft engine for the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk and Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopters under the Army’s Advanced Affordable Turbine Engine (AATE) technology demonstrator program.
The new Eurocopter AS 355 NP Ecureuil on display here at Le Bourget will shortly be delivered to the first customer, Scandinavian Helicopter Group. The Swedish operator uses its fleet of rotorcraft mainly for passenger transport and aerial work.
Sikorsky is readying its X2 compound helicopter demonstrator for first flight in late 2007 or early 2008, the U.S. manufacturer announced here at the Paris Air Show. The hybrid design, which looks like a helicopter with two contrarotating coaxial main rotors and one tail propulsor, already had its fly-by-wire system tested in a small Schweizer 333 helicopter. The actual X2 has undergone engine and drive train ground tests.
The BA 609 Tiltrotor is making its flying debut here at Le Bourget. Bell/Agusta Aerospace has brought the second prototype to Paris after it made its first public appearance late last month at an Italian air show. Potential European customers have recently expressed concern about the aircraft’s cost of ownership. Its U.S.-Italian manufacturer might thus hope to convince them about its unique capabilities by showcasing it here.
Bell is planning to add the second 429 prototype to its flight-test effort next month. The first example of the new light-twin helicopter has already convinced design engineers that they can stay with a four-blade tail rotor.
Sikorsky Aircraft yesterday disclosed at the American Helicopter Society International annual technical forum in Grapevine, Texas, plans to build and test a demonstrator for a new class of coaxial helicopters that will have improved vertical flight capabilities and will cruise at 250 knots. The Stratford, Conn.
Houston-based Bristow has exercised options to acquire four more Sikorsky S-92s. As part of the agreement, an earlier order for nine S-76s has been converted to options on the smaller rotorcraft. In addition, Bristow has taken options on 10 more S-92s, bringing the total number of options for this model to 14. –Thierry Dubois