The U.S. Navy released a draft request for proposals (RFP) for the long-delayed VXX Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program on November 23. The draft RFP revives an acquisition program that was cancelled more than three years ago. The formal RFP is expected to follow early next year.
Sikorsky and Ruili Jingcheng Group (RJG) signed two contracts for the introduction of an S-92 and S-76D, marking Sikorsky’s first S-92 helicopter sale to a private Chinese operator and the first-ever S-76D sale into China. The signing took place today at Airshow China 2012 in Zhuhai. Both aircraft will be configured for airline use.
The Sikorsky Innovations Entrepreneurial Challenge, now in its second year, saw a significant increase in entries over last year, a sign that the competition is gaining interest among its target audience: entrepreneurial companies looking “to understand some of the toughest issues facing the vertical flight community and to identify their technology as relevant to one or more of these issues.” The Challenge is open to any small company with revenue under $5 million, including newly formed and pre-revenue entities.
The FAA granted type certification last Friday for the Sikorsky S-76D medium-twin helicopter, a protracted program that was launched in 2006. Deliveries, which were originally slated to start in late 2010, are now planned to begin later this quarter, as the backlog is “approaching half a billion dollars.”
According to Sikorsky Global Helicopters vice president Ed Beyer, “The S-76D will offer a higher cruise speed than its predecessors, coupled with more efficient fuel burn, making the S-76 more productive than ever.” Deliveries of the original S-76 began in 1979.
Technology entrepreneurs take your marks! This year’s Sikorsky Innovations Entrepreneurial Challenge is open for submissions, but you have to act fast. Applications must be received by 5 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, October 10. Sikorsky Innovations is a division of Sikorsky Aircraft.
Sikorsky Aircraft Australia has signed a four-year agreement with the Australian Defense Force for ongoing logistics and engineering support for the Commonwealth of Australia’s fleet of S-70A and S-70B Black Hawks. The more than $120 million deal, which includes six annual renewable options, is a follow-on agreement to one that is expiring after an eight-year term. Sikorsky Aircraft Australia does business as Sikorsky Helitech.
Apple, Android and BlackBerry owners operating Sikorsky aircraft have a new tool to help them interface with Sikorsky Aerospace Services. SAS has launched new mobile applications for the Sikorsky360 Web portal, a proprietary online support capability currently used by more than 4,000 operators globally.
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.
Thailand has signed a letter of offer and acceptance covering two Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk tactical transport helicopters. They are being acquired through U.S. Foreign Military Sales channels and, after delivery to the Royal Thai Army, will be the first examples of this new generation of Black Hawk operating in Southeast Asia.
Despite a halt in production of nearly four years and the bankruptcy of its original developer, the fleet of Eclipse very light jets could soon grow again after Eclipse Aerospace was awarded a production certificate from the FAA.