Some aircraft fulfill their missions so well that they seem to last almost forever. The Sikorsky S-61/H-3 Sea King helicopter, the prototype of which made its first flight way back in 1959, appears on its way to achieving this “never die” status.
Yesterday, Boeing licensed the rights to AgustaWestland’s AW101 for the purpose of entering it in the latest U.S. presidential helicopter competition, known as VXX. Under the deal, Boeing will have full data, intellectual property and production rights for the three-engine, medium-lift helicopter.
Sikorsky S-92A, Galliano, La., March 22, 2010–While operating in wind gusts of up to 21 knots, the helicopter was damaged when an environmental control system panel detached from the fuselage and hit the main and tail rotors.
AgustaWestland (AW) is still in the hunt for the U.S. VXX Presidential helicopter replacement program, commonly known as Marine One. “I can confirm we will be competing for the VXX program. We strongly believe the [AW-] 101 is the best helicopter to meet this requirement,” an AW spokesman told AIN. The chairman of AW’s parent company, Finmeccanica, suggested that AW was in talks with Boeing and L-3 to partner on the contract.
A spokesman for AgustaWestland (AW) told AIN that the company is still in the hunt for the U.S. VXX Presidential helicopter replacement program, commonly known as Marine One. Pier Francesco Guarguaglini, the chairman and CEO of AW parent company Finmeccanica, suggested that AW could partner with Boeing and L-3 for the contract.
Lockheed Martin is partnering with Sikorsky to promote the latter’s H-92 medium-lift helicopter for the new VXX presidential transport mission. Last year the Pentagon canceled the VH-71 presidential helicopter replacement program after spending $3.3 billion for the first nine AgustaWestland AW101s that were slated to be integrated and completed by Lockheed Martin.
Lockheed Martin announced yesterday that it is partnering with Sikorsky to promote the latter’s H-92 medium-lift helicopter for the new VXX presidential transport mission. This is the latest development in the tortured process to replace the fleet of aging Sikorsky VH-3Ds and VH-60Ns operated by the Marine Corps to transport the President and other government VIPs.
A Sikorsky panel yesterday painted a positive picture of the company’s Sikorsky Global Helicopters division, basking in the warmth of 136 large and 79 light helicopter sales in 2008-2009, and a year that ended with a backlog valued at $12 billion.
The British Government has selected a consortium that includes CHC as the preferred bidder for a 25-year, search-and-rescue helicopter (SAR-H) contract that could be worth as much as $10 billion. CHC, based in Vancouver, B.C., is the world’s largest commercial provider of offshore helicopter services with a fleet of more than 270 aircraft operating in 30 countries.
Cutting-edge research takes an enormous amount of time and while the BA609 tiltrotor still shows signs of life, it may end up a solely AgustaWestland project. Sikorsky’s X2 compound helicopter hasn’t broken any speed records, yet, but it remains a fascinating program.