Eclipse Aerospace launched production of the Model 550 twin-engine very light jet on Friday in conjunction with its first international Eclipse dealer and sales conference, which was attended by dealers from more than 30 countries. During the meeting at Eclipse’s Albuquerque, N.M. headquarters, technicians mated the forward keel to the fuselage of 550 Serial Number 1001, which will be delivered to a customer next year.
Eclipse Aerospace is outsourcing manufacturing of airframe structural components for the new Eclipse 550 very light jet to PZL Mielec, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. UTC is the parent company of Sikorsky, which is a minority owner of Eclipse.
United Technologies (UTC) announced this month that Mick Maurer has been appointed president of its Sikorsky Aircraft subsidiary, effective July 1. Maurer, who will succeed Jeff Pino, joined Sikorsky in 2000 and most recently served as president of the military systems unit. Pino, who will retire effective July 1, will then serve as a consultant to Sikorsky.
Sikorsky Aircraft president Jeff Pino shed more light on the company’s investment in Albuquerque, N.M.-based Eclipse Aerospace, including the possibility of restarting production of the EA-500 very light jet, during a meeting this week at the Paris Air Show. “We’re good at working with supply chains, driving them down in cost, positioning things in the market [and providing] good aftermarket support,” Pino told AIN.
PZL-Mielec has flown the second Sikorsky S-70i “international” helicopter. It is the first to fly in Poland, where two more units are in final assembly. The Polish company previously shipped major subassemblies for the first S-70i to the U.S., where initial flight tests were completed at Sikorsky’s West Palm Beach, Fla. facility last month.
The Sikorsky S-70i military helicopter–a new export variant of the UH-60M Black Hawk–made its first flight on July 1 from the Sikorsky Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Jeff Pino, Sikorsky Aircraft president, laid out what he called the four pillars for Sikorsky’s future at a Heli-Expo press conference here. These are, he said, growth, excellence in execution, defining X2 technology applications and globalization. He said Sikorsky’s $3.2 billion in total revenue last year set a record for the company. Total revenue in 2005 was $2.8 billion.
Sikorsky Aircraft of Stratford, Conn. has agreed to acquire Polish aircraft maker PZL Mielec, which will form the foundation of Sikorsky’s European operations. Sikorsky and the Polish government announced the contract during a ceremony in Warsaw on January 10.