BEIJING --- Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. today announced the selection of Changhe Aircraft Industries Corp. to supply S-76 helicopter airframes. The agreement is the second to result from a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed June 1, 2006, by Sikorsky and China Aviation Industry Corp. II (AVIC II), parent company of Changhe. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.
Changhe will build and deliver S-76C++ helicopter airframes for Sikorsky together with AERO Vodochody in the Czech Republic. With the new agreement, Changhe is now a supplier for Sikorsky's three largest commercial helicopter programs. Changhe manufactures tail pylons for Sikorsky's S-92A helicopter, and in October 2006 signed the first MOU production agreement to supply airframe components and assemblies for Sikorsky's Schweizer 300CBi aircraft, which are used worldwide for pilot training, transportation, aerial photography, airborne patrol and many other purposes.
The MOU signed by the two companies opened discussions about potential arrangements for helicopter manufacturing, assembly, flight test, engineering design and analysis, and new product development in the light, intermediate and medium helicopter classes.
"Today marks another important step in Sikorsky's relationship with AVIC II and in our global expansion," said Carey Bond, Sikorsky vice president for corporate strategy. "This new agreement will strengthen our supplier base, add value for our customers, and enable us to maintain smooth production flow as we continue to see strong demand for the S-76 helicopter line, including the next generation S-76D(TM) model now under development."
Bond also noted, "Sikorsky remains committed to the Asian aviation market, and our growing presence and involvement in China provides the foundation for local market expansion. We envision start-to-finish, 'fly-away' production of Schweizer helicopters in China for the domestic market as the government takes steps to encourage civil aviation by eliminating air space restrictions."
Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, based in Stratford, Connecticut, USA, is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacturing and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Connecticut, USA, provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.