Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation

From Academic Kids

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UTC Sikorsky logo

Sikorsky is an American aircraft and helicopter manufacturer. It was founded 1923 by Igor Sikorsky, a Russian-American aircraft engineer born in Kiev (now Ukraine), the inventor of the first successful helicopter design, upon which the majority of subsequent helicopters were based (though he did not invent the helicopter itself). The company is now a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation (UTC), but remains one of the leading helicopter manufacturers, producing such well-known models as the UH-60 Black Hawk and SH-60 Sea Hawk, as well as some experimental ones like the Sikorsky X-Wing. It is a leading defense contractor. It supplies the helicopter of the President of the United States, Marine One. (Note that a January 2005 decision by the U.S. Government awarded this contract to competitor Lockheed Martin, which caused an outcry from many in Connecticut.) Sikorsky's VH-3 and VH-60 currently perform this role.

UTC is in the process of acquiring Schweizer, and will merge it with Sikorsky. The product lines of the two firms are complementary, and have very little overlap, as Sikorsky primarily concentrates on large helicopters, and Schweizer concentrates on small helicopters, UAVs, gliders, and light planes. The Schweizer deal was signed on August 26, 2004, exactly one week to the day after the death of Paul Schweizer, the company's founder and majority owner.



Sikorsky designates nearly all of its models with S-numbers; numbers S-1 through S-20 were designed by Igor Sikorsky in Russia. Later models, especially helicopters, received multiple designations by the military services using them, often depending on purpose (UH, SH, and MH for instance), even if the physical craft had only minor variations in equipment. In some cases, the aircraft were returned to Sikorsky or to another manufacturer and additionally modified, resulting in still further variants on the same basic model number.



Other Aircraft


In 1938, Howard Hughes purchased an S-43 for a proposed round-the-world flight. Hughes is pictured in "The Aviator" teaching Katharine Hepburn to fly in an S-38.

Pan American used the S-40, S-42 and other models for their early "flying clippers".

In January 2005, the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) acquired six new Sikorsky S-70B naval helicopters which will operate off the RSN's new frigates [1] (,3036,CLI1_DIV69_ETI1936,00.html).

In addition, Sikorsky is a major supplier of helicopters to the U.S. Military.

External link

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