Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. is displaying the Canadian Forces CH-148 Cyclone multi-mission helicopter at this year’s Paris Air Show. The aircraft on show (Static Display F210) was built under Sikorsky’s Canadian Maritime Helicopter Project (CMHP) and is one of 28 CH-148s that will be produced for the Canadian Forces to replace CH-124 Sea King helicopters, in service since 1963.
Sikorsky has won the $3.5 billion Turkish Utility Helicopter Program (TUHP), with a version of the Black Hawk designated T-70. Detailed negotiations for assembly of an initial 109 T-70s by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) will now begin. TAI will produce some parts for the T-70s, while local company Alp Aviation, which is 50-percent owned by Sikorsky, will produce dynamic components.
Sikorsky Aircraft and Milestone Aviation Group of Dublin, Ireland, announced jointly yesterday Milestone’s order for five Sikorsky S-76C++ helicopters, for delivery to Milestone in the second half of this year. Milestone (Booth No. 4042) plans to offer the new helicopters for lease to helicopter operators anywhere in the world.
Buoyed by steady and solid U.S. government and international work, Sikorsky is demonstrating strong hover performance in challenging economic conditions, and president Jeff Pino’s press conference yesterday morning was one of the more information-rich sessions here at Heli-Expo.
Sikorsky Aircraft completed a “minority equity investment” in Albuquerque, N.M.-based Eclipse Aerospace yesterday. Neither company disclosed the value of the deal. An agreement “in principle” for Sikorsky to take a “substantial” minority stake in Eclipse was revealed in October at the NBAA Convention, and since then both parties have remained mum on the deal until yesterday’s announcement.
Having achieved its target speed of 250 ktas in September, Sikorsky continues to flight-test the X2 demonstrator but at a slower pace. The U.S.-based manufacturer has also announced the first application of the technology will be military. The X2 is a compound helicopter featuring two contra-rotating coaxial main rotors and a pusher propeller.
Final assembly of the first production Sikorsky S-76D medium twin has begun in Coatesville, Pa., the helicopter manufacturer announced this week. Czech-based Aero Vodochody delivered the helicopter’s fuselage on November 19–a one-month delay, according to a schedule released in June. The fully assembled fuselage arrived with all electric and cockpit systems having passed acceptance tests, Sikorsky said.
Members of the Schweizer family claim Sikorsky short-changed them on the 2004 purchase of their helicopter company and are suing to recover $2.8 million. According to the lawsuit, Sikorsky parent United Technologies paid $12 million for the Elmira, N.Y.-based company with promises of up to $10 to $14 million more once certain program progress goals were met and two crash lawsuits were settled.
Last week Sikorsky sought to quash a federal lawsuit brought by the Schweizer family that charges the Stratford, Conn.-based company with reneging on the terms of its 2004 purchase of Schweizer Aircraft, builder of light helicopters, surveillance aircraft and unmanned drones. Schweizer acquired the production rights to the Hughes 300-series helicopters from McDonnell Douglas in 1986.
In a surprise announcement at the NBAA convention, Stratford, Conn.-based Sikorsky Aircraft revealed that it reached an agreement “in principle” to make a substantial minority investment in Eclipse Aerospace. Executives from both companies provided few specifics about the deal, including its value.