At a time when the progress of big-ticket military helicopter programs is measured in decades, it is worth noting that the first Boeing Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche production line opened September 17 at Sikorsky’s Bridgeport, Conn. plant.
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.
Sikorsky is readying its X-2 demonstrator for flight tests late this year. The hybrid design, which looks like a helicopter with two contrarotating coaxial main rotors and one tail propulsor, already had its fly-by-wire system tested in a Schweizer 333. The actual X-2 has undergone engine and drive-train ground tests. Preliminary performance figures call for a 250-knot cruise speed and range of 500 nm.
Sikorsky is confident its upgraded medium-twin helicopter, the S-76D, will make its first flight in the fourth quarter of next year, vice president Europe Bruce McKinney said here at the show during a press conference on Monday. The program’s schedule slipped at some point because of resources being reallocated to the military CH-53K but the S-76D program is now fully staffed, McKinney told Aviation International News.
Sergei Sikorsky charmed some 300 Heli-Expo attendees at the Sikorsky booth (No.
Sikorsky Aircraft of Stratford, Conn., today announced an agreement to acquire Keystone Ranger Holdings, the privately owned parent of West Chester, Pa.-based Keystone Helicopter, an engineering, completion and technical support facility for the Sikorsky S-76 and other civil helicopters and aeromedical flight operations.
Sikorsky Aircraft recently received a contract to deliver a new S-76C++ to Trustair in the UK. In addition to the S-76C++, Sikorsky and Lynton Aviation, one of its UK sales representatives, facilitated the simultaneous sale of an S-76B from a third party to Trustair.
Sikorsky Aircraft plans to open a new engineering center in Fort Worth, Texas, next year to support the company’s growing U.S. government, commercial and aftermarket business. The 25,000-sq-ft facility at First Command Plaza will employ about 100 aerospace professionals drawn mostly from the Fort Worth-Dallas area. Job fairs are set to begin next month.
Keystone Helicopter Corp. (Booth No. 2645), which was acquired by Sikorsky Aircraft last year, announced the selection of Patty Ryan as chief financial officer. Her background includes 22 years at Sikorsky, where most recently she served as manager of the integration team for Sikorsky at Keystone.
Sikorsky received a contract for 2007 delivery of an S-76C++ to LG International at last week’s Asian Aerospace 2006 trade show in Singapore. “The S-76++ sets the standard for quiet, comfortable and efficient corporate and VIP transport,” said Steve Estill, Sikorsky v-p for worldwide sales.