Little Eagle/Sikorsky To Proceed with Chinese Production

 - February 5, 2008, 4:30 AM

Bringing to reality a deal announced at Heli-Expo last year, Shanghai Sikorsky Aircraft Co. (SSAC) has received business license approval from Chinese authorities, authorizing the light-helicopter manufacturing company to commence operations. The result will be a new line of light helicopters built in China, all of them license-built editions of existing Schweizer designs. First off the SSAC line will be the so-called Shen 4T, essentially the same as the Schweizer 333, a single-turbine four-seater, with first deliveries set to start later this year. Subsequent models will be license-built editions of Schweizer 300CBi and 330C three-seaters. Schweizer closed a deal covering this license-driven production some time ago. What was needed to greenlight the deal was a go-ahead from Beijing and funding from both program partners Sikorsky and Little Eagle Science and Technology Co., the Chinese arm of the deal.