Sikorsky Aircraft completed the first flight of an optionally piloted Black Hawk demonstrator last month in a joint effort with the U.S. Army, the company said on April 21. The Black Hawk serves as a second testbed (joining an S-76) for Sikorsky’s Matrix research program to develop and field systems for autonomous vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has issued a validation type certificate for Sikorsky Aircraft’s S-76D helicopter, allowing the U.S. manufacturer to begin deliveries to Chinese customers. The move, announced on Monday at ABACE 2014 in Shanghai, follows the earlier CAAC validation of the S-76A and S-76C models. More than 30 of the twin-engine Sikorsky S-76 aircraft currently operate in China.
The Flight Safety Foundation’s Business Aviation Safety Summit (BASS) begins April 16 in San Diego, Calif. Confirmed speakers include Sergei Sikorsky, former vice president of Sikorsky Aircraft; and Chuck Aaron, chief helicopter pilot and director of maintenance with Red Bull.
Sikorsky Aircraft anticipates contract awards this year from the U.S. Air Force for its new combat rescue helicopter (CRH) and from the Navy for a new U.S. presidential helicopter.
Sikorsky Aircraft offered some insight into the future of its S-300C training helicopter yesterday at Heli-Expo. The company also detailed its progress in fulfilling the last 19 orders for the S-300C following the 2012 closure of the former Schweizer production facility, with the last airframe expected to be completed within six months.
Sikorsky Aircraft launched iFly Sikorsky, its first iPad flight calculator application for the company’s commercial S-92 helicopter platform, here at Heli-Expo 2014. The application replicates common performance calculations described in the S-92 Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM) and also has a weight-and-balance calculator.
Sometimes it’s the personal touch that makes the difference. Sergei Sikorsky, retired vice president of special products for Sikorsky Helicopters (Booth No. 2822) and son of the company’s namesake, Igor Sikorsky, presented an informative history of the search-and-rescue pedigree of vertical lift aircraft during Heli-Expo 2014.
“In December 1938 Igor Sikorsky presented the case to United Aircraft to develop the helicopter,” said Sikorsky. “He told United that, when developed, the helicopter would prove to be a unique instrument for saving human lives,” he continued.
In the military segment, while clearly concerned with continuing budget constraints, Sikorsky expects to achieve two milestones this year with the first flights of the CH-53K, the latest version of its heavy-lift military transport, and the S-97 Raider.
Sikorsky Aircraft yesterday named Greenwich AeroGroup subsidiary Summit Aviation an authorized customer support center for its legacy S-76 helicopters. Since the type’s introduction in 1979, Sikorsky has delivered more than 800 S-76 models, which continue to add to the type’s six million-plus flight hours.
For Sikorsky, 2013 was a mixed bag, according to company president Mick Maurer, who gave his company’s year-end summary presentation this morning. While the company reached a record backlog of more than $15 billion, it also recorded an 8-percent drop in sales, to $6.3 billion, the decrease driven largely by a drop-off in U.S. government orders on both the OEM side and the aftermarket side last year.