On June 13, Todd Reichert and the AeroVelo team (mostly students at the University of Toronto) entered the history books, winning the American Helicopter Society’s Igor I. Sikorsky Human-Powered Helicopter Competition. The competition requires flying above three meters for at least one minute within a 10- by 10-meter space.
American Helicopter Society International (AHS International, Booth No. N6304) is marking its 70th anniversary here at Heli-Expo. With 6,100 members from 44 countries, AHS International is dedicated to finding technical solutions for vertical lift, including solving the challenge of human-powered vertical flight. AHS International is offering a $250,000 prize, funded by Sikorsky Aircraft (founded by one of the organization’s charter members, Igor Sikorsky) to the designer(s) of a helicopter that can hover for at least one minute at least 9.84 feet over a 32.8-foot-sided square.
Buoyed by several years of steady growth and a healthy $6.8 billion in sales recorded in 2012, Sikorsky is on the right track and gaining momentum, president Mick Maurer said yesterday.
With a multi-year, multi-service Black Hawk and Seahawk contract in hand valued at $89.5 billion and an S-76D backlog valued at around $700 million, the Stratford, Conn. manufacturer is anticipating a bright 2013.
In a ceremony at the Sikorsky exhibit yesterday, the company celebrated its 90th anniversary in homage to its founder and aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky. The crowd of some 300 at Booth No. C5028 listened to Sikorsky’s story in his own words, words that still resonate in the industry and that included the admonishment, “In aviation, use the word ‘impossible’ with the greatest care.” Sikorsky president Mick Maurer concluded the ceremony by offering his own view of the future, saying the obligation of Sikorsky over the next 90 years is to continue to push the boundaries.
The Coanda effect, which is central to the performance of the MD Helicopters Notar (no tail rotor) and the tail-boom strakes on many other helicopters, inspired 16-year-old Ethan Chu’s design for a helicopter that won him the Igor Sikorsky Youth Innovator Award in the second annual Helicopter 2050 Challenge (http://www.helicopter2050.com).
“I was fascinated with the Coanda effect,” Chu said, “and I decided to use it to make my helicopter design more efficient.”
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has approved the Sikorsky S-92 helicopter for sea state 6 conditions, completing the S-92A emergency flotation system sea-state expansion for additional mission capability. The European Aviation Safety Agency has also certified the system and approval by Transport Canada is expected soon.
United Technologies (UTC) announced this month that Mick Maurer has been appointed president of its Sikorsky Aircraft subsidiary, effective July 1. Maurer, who will succeed Jeff Pino, joined Sikorsky in 2000 and most recently served as president of the military systems unit. Pino, who will retire effective July 1, will then serve as a consultant to Sikorsky.
Strong deliveries of the S-92 medium twin will boost civil activity at Sikorsky this year, according to recently released 2011 results and 2012 outlook. President Jeff Pino is expecting S-92 handovers to leap by 42 percent and overall civil deliveries by approximately 30 percent.
This year’s plans call for delivery of approximately 260 civil and military rotorcraft, with civil revenue expected to exceed $1.1 billion. Operating profits are predicted to be in the $50 million to $75 million range, down from $820 million last year.
Composite Technology, a Sikorsky Aerospace Services company based at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, has opened a $15 million structure to dynamically balance helicopter main rotor blades. It can test main rotor blades that rotate either clockwise or counterclockwise, and its two 3,000-shp, variable-frequency drive motors make it suitable for light to heavy helicopters. A test involves three blades: a precision-balanced master blade and two test blades. One blade can weigh up to 500 pounds.
Sikorsky president Jeff Pino presented his company’s 2011 results and 2012 outlook last week, and the outlook suggests that strong deliveries of the S-92 medium twin will boost civil activity this year. Pino is expecting S-92 handovers to leap by 42 percent and overall civil activity by approximately 30 percent, while overall total sales (military and civil) will fall by 5 percent.
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