Jeffrey Pino, CEO of Sikorsky Aircraft was all smiles as he delivered the State of Sikorsky Briefing at Heli-Expo 2012. Orders are up overall, as of December 2011, and with the worldwide fleet of large helicopters now averaging 30 years old, or older, he expects more helicopter orders are imminent. Here are a few of the highlights from Pino’s briefing.
* Sikorsky sold $7.4 billion in helicopters in 2011.
* The company will deliver its first S-76D model in the third quarter of this year. The S-76D currently meets the tough proposed ICAO noise standards (as well as current ICAO standards). It will be equipped with new de-icing capabilities for its main and tail rotors.
An expanded fuel-capacity option has been developed for the helicopter and will be available soon.
The S-76Ds delivered in July should include Sikorsky’s all-glass Top Deck cockpit.
* Sikorsky has replaced 66 percent of the gearboxes in the S-92 fleet with new equipment, and expects to reach 100 percent of the fleet within the next two months.
* In the small-helicopter market, all but five S300C helicopter delivery positions for 2012 are sold.
* In the military arena, Sikorsky expects 20 percent compound growth annually of the military systems.
Sikorsky claims it has U.S. government commitments going forward for the next 15 to 20 years. The CH-53K program has been fully funded by Congress and it is expected to fly in 2014, with 200 aircraft programmed to be built.
* The S-97 Raider, derived from the revolutionary X-2 technology demonstrator, will fly in 2014. The helicopter has a projected top speed of more than 250 knots and a turning radius 50 percent tighter than an Apache helicopter. According to Pino, engineers on the project are learning about drag reduction and rotor dynamics that will lead to ground-breaking technologies applicable to other Sikorsky helicopters.
* The company has completed construction and is now producing helicopters for foreign military forces in Poland, took in more than $1B in international military orders in 2011, and expects to close on $5B more this year.
* State-side, the company has retooled its Elmira, N.Y.. facilities to train international military pilots and technicians.
* Finally, the company has, according to Pino, challenged itself to reduce customer operating costs by 10 percent annually.