Avionics manufacturer and integrator Thales and helicopter OEM Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. are discussing plans to incorporate a synthetic-vision system (SVS) into the Thales TopDeck avionics suite in Sikorsky’s new S-76D, but whether it will be available by the aircraft’s expected FAA certification date in 2008 is still up in the air.
Jeff Pino, Sikorsky Aircraft president, laid out what he called the four pillars for Sikorsky’s future at a Heli-Expo press conference here. These are, he said, growth, excellence in execution, defining X2 technology applications and globalization. He said Sikorsky’s $3.2 billion in total revenue last year set a record for the company. Total revenue in 2005 was $2.8 billion.
Keystone Helicopter, a subsidiary of Sikorsky Aircraft, signed an agreement to provide maintenance and completion services to Seacor’s aviation division, which includes Era Helicopters, Era Leasing and EraMed. The Seacor fleet includes AgustaWestland A109s, A119s and AW139s; Eurocopter EC 135s, EC 145s and AS 350s; and the Sikorsky S-76++.
Despite the Navy’s decision to scale back initial funding for the program, Lockheed Martin continues to ready a new facility opened last year in Owego, N.Y., that will integrate systems and outfit cabins on the VH-71, the much-anticipated replacement for the U.S. Presidential helicopter fleet. The popular name Kestrel has been suggested for the VH-71, but remains to be officially adopted by the Navy.
According to Schweizer Aircraft president Paul Schweizer, business has never been better. Incorporated into the United Technologies (UTC) conglomerate as a subsidiary of Sikorsky Aircraft in 2004, Schweizer is now enjoying unprecedented sales and revenue growth, resulting in increased production of its piston and turbine helicopter models.
The long-anticipated decision as to which helicopter would next carry the U.S. President was always going to leave one contender reaping the spoils and the other licking its wounds. In the end, it came down to a decision to go with the Lockheed Martin US101, a helicopter largely of British and Italian design.
Schweizer Aircraft of Elmira, N.Y., a subsidiary of Sikorsky Aircraft, announced here at Heli-Expo it had recently signed a contract with Caseright Aviation of the UK for 10 new Schweizer 300CBi piston helicopters. Deliveries are to begin early next year.
Sikorsky Aircraft of Stratford, Conn., today announced an agreement to acquire Keystone Ranger Holdings, the privately owned parent of West Chester, Pa.-based Keystone Helicopter, an engineering, completion and technical support facility for the Sikorsky S-76 and other civil helicopters and aeromedical flight operations.
The award of the U.S. Presidential VXX contract a few days before Heli-Expo was a hot topic in the Anaheim Convention Center last month. The decision went to the Lockheed Martin US-101, a helicopter with British and Italian roots, and came as a surprise to the many observers who assumed that Connecticut-based Sikorsky had the inside track with its newer S-92.
Sikorsky Aircraft recently received a contract to deliver a new S-76C++ to Trustair in the UK. In addition to the S-76C++, Sikorsky and Lynton Aviation, one of its UK sales representatives, facilitated the simultaneous sale of an S-76B from a third party to Trustair.