“What’s the difference between fractional helicopter operations and fractional business jet operations?” asked one fractional sales professional rhetorically. “Well, it’s like comparing a rare tropical orchid with dandelions. The orchid can grow and prosper in only a special and rather rare environment, while the dandelion sprouts up just about anywhere there’s sunlight and water.
The in-service fleet of Sikorsky S-92 medium-twin helicopters reached 100,000 total flight hours, the company announced last month. The first production S-92 was delivered in late 2004. There are now 67 S-92s in service, 11 of which fly an estimated 130 to 170 hours per month. To date, 13 of the aircraft have logged more than 3,500 flight hours.
Equipment and systems supplier Hamilton Sundstrand has announced pre-show product-support agreements worth almost $350 million. It also won contracts to supply power controllers for the Airbus A350 and control systems for Pratt & Whitney’s PW810C and PW1000G engines. The company’s NP2000 propeller is flying test missions on a C-130, while its propeller for the Airbus A400M spins on another C-130 test bed.
Sikorsky has claimed the number-two position among the world’s helicopter manufacturers, declared CEO Jeff Pino here on Monday. “We are the second largest helicopter manufacturer by revenues and we will soon compete with Eurocopter for the number one position,” said Pino, who has seen his company’s turnover grow on a 22-percent trend, against a 13-percent industry average.
Helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky (Hall 4 Stand F14) has nearly finished building its X2 coaxial compound helicopter demonstrator in Elmira, New York. Although additional ground tests are needed there, first flight is “within arm’s reach,” according to Jim Kagdis, Sikorsky’s manager of advanced programs. He would not commit to a specific time period, however. The X2 program is entirely funded by Sikorsky.
Sikorsky S-92 test pilots John Dixon, company flight operations director, and Bob Spaulding, S-92 chief pilot, performed two full power-off landings last month, passing an important milestone on the medium-lift, twin-engine helicopter’s road to certification. Both landings were performed at slightly above the model’s max gross weight of 26,250 lb.
It’s been a busy month for Sikorsky’s S-92 development team as the project moves toward approval by year-end. The big twin scored its first public-use sale from the Irish Air Corps, good news that was nevertheless scarred by controversy, specifically Eurocopter’s initiation of legal proceedings against both Sikorsky and the Irish government alleging improper practices on the part of both.
When it comes to selling helicopters for one of the leading helo makers, it’s difficult to find a job that Jeff Pino hasn’t done. In his 17 years with Bell, he was vice president of sales and marketing, executive director for Europe, director for Latin America and regional manager for South America.
Focusing on the needs of the corporate user, Sikorsky Aircraft used last month’s NBAA Convention to outline a series of fresh improvements applicable to its entire S-76 product line, including stainless-steel landing-gear rod ends that eliminate reliance on corrosion preventive compounds, thereby reducing maintenance; a “smart” electrical contactor to better manage electrical system switching; fuzz-burn engine chip detectors for Turbomeca Arri
Movie stars tend to get what they want, so when comic actor Adam Sandler asked to borrow Sikorsky’s S-92 helicopter for a cameo appearance in his new film Mr. Deeds, Sikorsky said yes.