Sikorsky Global Helicopters, a business unit of Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., is seeing a resurgence of interest in its S-300Câ„¢ and S-300CBiâ„¢ helicopters, with sales activity for the beginning of 2010 showing a 50 percent increase over the same time period in 2009. Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).
All incoming orders so far in 2010 have been fleet orders of two to four helicopters each for flight training, patrol, agricultural and wildlife work, and other diverse operations in the United States and around the world.
â€œIn lean economic times, more operators have come to recognize S-300â„¢ series helicopters as reliable, economic solutions to their mission requirements,â€ said David Oglesbee, director, Sikorsky Global Helicopters Light Helicopter Division. â€œLow operating costs and a strong safety record also have encouraged customers to add S-300 series helicopters to their fleets to grow and diversify their businesses in a soft market.â€
In the United States, Sikorsky has seen colleges expanding their current rotary fleet or diversifying their aviation programs to include rotary training. Many of these institutions are choosing Sikorsky light helicopters to meet their needs.
The University of North Dakotaâ€™s John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences, for example, currently operates six Sikorsky light helicopters in its flight training program and has four S-300C helicopters on order for delivery in 2010. UND Aerospace has operated S-300 series helicopters in its training program since 1983.
Emerging international markets also have been a source of growth for a variety of missions. Shanghai Sikorsky has 10 civil helicopters on order: eight S-300C helicopters and two S-300CBi helicopters. These aircraft will be used for training, agriculture, and other missions. Shanghai Sikorsky is the distributor for Sikorsky light helicopters in China.
After delivering the first Sikorsky light helicopter into Kenya, North East Helicopters of South Africa has placed orders for two more helicopters, which are currently scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2010. There are more than 50 S-300 series helicopters now operating in southern Africa, where North East Helicopters is the distributor for Sikorsky light helicopters.
EDRA AeronÃ¡utica of Brazil has two S-300CBi helicopters on order for law enforcement in Brazil. EDRA is another distributor for Sikorsky light helicopters. Seven state police agencies in Brazil operate a total of 11 S-300CBi and S-300C helicopters. EDRA has trained about 75 percent of the police pilots in Brazil and is pursuing future sales to support upcoming international sporting events in Brazil over the next few years.
Sikorsky Global Helicopters, a Sikorsky company, produces the S-76Â®, S-92Â®, and H-92â„¢ helicopters as well as the S-300Câ„¢, S-300CBiâ„¢, S-333â„¢, and S-434â„¢ light helicopters. Its subsidiaries include Keystone Helicopter Corp. and Associated Aircraft Group (AAG).
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture, and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.