PRAGUE, Czech Republic --- Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. displayed an S-76 helicopter and its features today in the first flight demonstration of the aircraft in the Czech Republic, where S-76 airframes are manufactured by AERO Vodochody a.s. Sikorsky Aircraft is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.
The flight demonstrations were conducted at the Vodochody private international airport at AERO Vodochody a.s. The demos coincide with the kick-off of the 42nd Annual Karlovy Vary International Film Festival taking place June 29-July 7.
AERO has manufactured S-76 airframes since 2000, completing its 157th airframe today.
The flight demonstrations were met with enthusiasm and excitement by the more than 900 AERO employees who were given the opportunity to view the S-76 in flight as part of the weekend-long program to showcase the aircraft. In addition, 12 AERO employees were randomly selected to fly in the S-76 for brief demo flights.
"The S-76 helicopter is the aircraft of choice for corporate and VIP operators as well as for some of the world's largest helicopter offshore operators," said Bruce McKinney, Vice President, Sikorsky Europe "The demonstration flights for potential customers in the Czech Republic is a proud moment for Sikorsky and AERO employees, who together produce this popular and proven aircraft."
McKinney said the S-76 demonstrations in Prague also highlight Sikorsky's growing presence in Europe that includes the recent acquisition of PZL Mielec in Poland, where the company plans to produce the International Black Hawk for delivery throughout the region.
Sikorsky Aircraft is actively exploring business opportunities for strategic European partners for component manufacturing and service centers for the entire Sikorsky product line.
"Sikorsky looks forward to the opportunities to build on the foundation established through the work that is done at AERO, as we expand into the European region," McKinney said.
AERO Vodochody President Peter Ondro said his company is committed to delivering more than 30 percent more airframes this year than it did in 2006.
"Today's flight demonstration represents an important sign of success in this collaboration, especially for our employees participating in the production of the S-76 helicopter," Ondro said. "The volume of the S-76 helicopter program production increases every year, and the increasing interest is a sound affirmation that Sikorsky is satisfied with the quality of our deliveries, which we are really pleased about."
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacturing, 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.