Paris Air Show

Sabreliner Turns Blackhawks into VVIP Helicopters

 - June 20, 2013, 7:06 AM
Sabreliner created clam-shell doors with integrated steps to maximize the space in the Blackhawk VVIP cabin for executive seating and work surfaces.

The Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk conjures visions of combat troops, pilots wearing night-vision goggles and bare-bones, utility cabins. Rarely does one find executives flying in a Blackhawk.

But earlier this year Sabreliner, with locations in Perryville, Ste. Genevieve and St. Mary, Missouri, delivered two highly-modified UH-60M Blackhawk helicopters to the Royal Jordanian Air Force. The helicopters feature Sabreliner-developed executive entry systems, VIP seating and cabin entertainment systems.

“The airframe meets both the security and tactical needs of these VVIP helicopters. Sabreliner’s custom interiors provide the level of quality and luxury expected by this audience,” said Tracy Ogle, vice president of helicopter services.

Sabreliner developed a frame-load isolation design to convert Blackhawks into VVIP transport aircraft for heads of state. It also created executive entry clam-shell doors with integrated steps, which maximize the space in the cabin for executive seating and work surfaces.

These latest aircraft make a total of 11 Blackhawks the company has converted to VVIP versions to date. Each completion is different and of varying complexity making even a ballpark estimate on cost difficult, a spokesperson told AIN.

Ogle and Susan Aselage, Sabreliner president, are attending the Paris Air Show this week. While Sabreliner is not exhibiting, both of the women are part of a contingent of Missouri aerospace companies (Hall 3 B131) attending the show along with Missouri governor Jay Nixon.