Sikorsky’s S-76D, the latest S-76 medium twin variant, made its first flight February 7 at the company’s West Palm Beach, Fla. test facility. The flight came a few months behind schedule and Sikorsky blamed the delay on “supply chain and some resulting rework issues.” Two other prototypes are currently under construction at Keystone. Sikorsky says it has “more than 100” orders for the
Keystone Helicopter’s engine services division announced that it won Rolls-Royce’s program investment award. This award recognizes Keystone for making the largest investment to improve its contribution to the Model 250 program. Speaking at the awards event, Steve Townes, CEO of Keystone Helicopter and founder of parent company Ranger Aerospace, said, “We are very proud to receive this award.
Sikorsky’s Keystone Helicopter division is gearing up to produce both the S-76D and the S-92 at its Coatesville, Pa. Heliplex campus. The first S-76D is scheduled to fly by year-end, but Keystone’s president, David Ford, acknowledges, “That’s going to be a challenge.” Keystone has received three S-76D fuselages from Aero Vodochody and hopes to ship the first completed S-76D to Sikorsky’s West Palm Beach, Fla.
Pledging to build already successful long-time central Atlantic coast helicopter support and repair operation Keystone Helicopter into a $350 million business, Keystone Ranger Holdings’ CEO Steve Townes addressed Keystone staffers, founders and well-wishers at a recent “closing dinner” held at the American Helicopter Museum near Keystone’s headquarters in West Chester, Pa., near Philadelphia.
Sikorsky Aircraft last month recognized Keystone Helicopter
for its achievement in completing and delivering the 50th S-76C+ helicopter. The aircraft is earmarked for delivery to Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering. Keystone, in Coatsville, Pa., has been the principal completion center for the S-76C+ since 2000.
Keystone Helicopter is “digging in for long-term growth.” The company announced last Friday that it broke ground for a 173,000-sq-ft, multi-building technical center at Chester County Airport in Coatesville, Pa.
Seacor’s Aviation Division has signed an agreement to have Keystone Helicopters provide maintenance and completions for the more than 160 helicopters it operates in the northeastern U.S., Gulf of Mexico and Alaska.
Associated Aircraft Group (AAG) and Keystone Helicopter Corp. have joined forces to create an East Coast charter operation. Both companies are wholly owned subsidiaries of Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., which recently acquired Keystone. Under the joint effort, AAG will operate executive-configured Sikorsky S-76 charter flights from Keystone’s Coatesville, Pa.
Sikorsky Aircraft of Stratford, Conn., recently completed the acquisition of Keystone Ranger Holdings, which includes Keystone Helicopters in West Chester, Pa., and Composite Technology USA in Grand Prairie, Texas.
In the middle of a helicopter market that has been flat for nearly a decade and seems likely to remain that way for the foreseeable future, how does a 50-year-old rotorcraft repair, maintenance, management and operations company not only survive but actually manage to grow?