Helicopter manufacturer Sikor- sky is outsourcing more of its civil production to India and China while scaling down its partnership with Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). The company also announced that China’s AVIC subsidiary Changhe Aircraft has delivered the first S-76C++ airframe built in China and that India’s Tata Advanced Systems will be building S-92 cabins.
Shane Eddy is the new kid on the block at Sikorsky, but he’s no neophyte to helicopters, having spent more than 25 years in the industry, with the last 14 years at Bell Helicopter, where he most recently served as senior vice president of customer support and services.
Sikorsky has launched a technology development organization called Sikorsky Innovations, whose mission is to develop and mature technologies, products and processes. Sikorsky Innovations, a “virtual organization,” will strive to shorten execution timelines and reduce costs, the U.S. helicopter manufacturer announced this week.
Helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky (Stand L39) is outsourcing more of its civil production to India and China, while scaling down its partnership with Japan-based Mitsubishi Heavy In-dustries (MHI). The company also announced that China’s AVIC subsidiary Changhe Aircraft has delivered the first S-76C++ airframe built in China, and that India’s Tata Advanced Systems will be building S-92 cabins.
Both product support and research and development have taken hits in the helicopter industry as cash flow and current sales shrink, while future orders are clouded by important changes and growing uncertainty in key customer sectors.
Volo Aviation’s newest FBO at Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Bridgeport, Conn., is on target to open in April. The new facility includes 35,000 sq ft of hangar space and a 4,000-sq-ft FBO and office building featuring polycarbonate and structural glass panels instead of the traditional steel and concrete found at many airports. Volo’s FBO is the first major new construction project at the airport in about 30 years.
China’s Aviation Industry Corporation’s (Avic) Changhe subsidiary has completed its first Sikorsky S-76C++ airframe at its plant near Shanghai. It will now be shipped to Sikorsky’s Coatesville, Pa. facility for completion. Changhe will manufacture more S-76 airframes this year.
The Changhe subsidiary of China’s Aviation Industry Corp. (AVIC) completed its first Sikorsky S-76C++ airframe yesterday at its plant near Shanghai. It will now be shipped to Sikorsky’s Coatesville, Pa. facility for completion. Changhe will manufacture additional S-76 airframes in 2010.
Sikorsky Aircraft wrapped up whirl testing of a demonstration rotor system with active flaps as part of the company’s “commitment to design, develop, test and ultimately field next-generation technologies that will advance the current state of rotorcraft.” Development partners on the project are United Technologies Research Center for the blades and Hamilton Sundstrand Claverham for the flap actuators.
The future of the VH-71 presidential helicopter program neared the wire last month as Congress worked to pass a final 2010 defense appropriations bill that the President would sign before the start of the fiscal year on October 1. If the bill is not signed into law by then, Congress would need to pass a continuing resolution to temporarily fund the Department of Defense. As AIN went to press, the bill had not yet become law.