Sikorsky Aircraft of Stratford, Conn. has agreed to acquire Polish aircraft maker PZL Mielec, which will form the foundation of Sikorsky’s European operations. Sikorsky and the Polish government announced the contract during a ceremony in Warsaw on January 10.
It may be nearly the first day of summer, but engineers from the National Research Council of Canada are in Paris this week with thoughts of winter on their minds–or at least the most well-known byproduct of winter: ice.
United Technologies subsidiary Sikorsky Aircraft announced at the American Helicopter Society annual forum earlier this month that it plans to build an experimental helicopter using a coaxial main rotor system that it says will achieve cruise speeds well above that of conventional helicopters. Coaxial helicopters have two counterrotating rotors on the same vertical axis.
Sikorsky Aircraft plans to open a new engineering center in Fort Worth, Texas, next year to support the company’s growing U.S. government, commercial and aftermarket business. The 25,000-sq-ft facility at First Command Plaza will employ about 100 aerospace professionals drawn mostly from the Fort Worth-Dallas area. Job fairs are set to begin next month.
Irish helicopter and jet management and sales company Premier Aviation Services has signed for three Sikorsky S-76D corporate helicopters. The business, covered by “position assignment agreements” with Sikorsky, is said to involve the first European deposits for this newest variant of the successful rotorcraft, which will be powered by three Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210 engines.
Sikorsky Aircraft yesterday announced plans to develop two new versions of its H-60 Black Hawk aimed at sales outside the U.S.: the International Black Hawk and the Armed BattleHawk.
“There were times when we could ramp up production on one line merely by shuffling some people around from the others,” said president Paul Schweizer of the eponymous light helicopter manufacturer. “Those days are gone now.”
Last month, Sikorsky Aircraft announced an agreement to acquire privately owned Keystone Ranger Holdings for an unspecified sum. Previously backed by investors that included Meridian Venture Partners, Keystone specializes in engineering, completion and technical support for commercial helicopters, and aeromedical flight operations. Closing was expected by year-end, subject to government approval, as well as certain other conditions.
Paul A. Schweizer, soaring pioneer and the second of three brothers who founded Schweizer Aircraft in the 1930s, died on August 18 at the age of 91 in Elmira, N.Y. Long out of the sailplane business, Schweizer Aircraft has since expanded into airframe subcontracting work and helicopter development and manufacturing but is still family-run.
At last month’s American Helicopter Society forum in Grapevine, Texas, several OEMs unveiled entirely new projects or reported major progress on projects under development. Two of those new projects are based on original designs that first flew more than 50 years ago. Of particular interest, given recent history, is that all but one of the designs are the result of American research and development.