The Light Helicopter Division of Sikorsky Global Helicopters, a business unit of Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., serves many markets in today’s aviation industry with its range of piston- and turbine-powered helicopters and dedication to meeting the changing technological demands of the global aerospace community. A skilled workforce, outstanding engineering and manufacturing capabilities, and a commitment to total quality set the Light Helicopter Division apart from the field.
The Light Helicopter Division, formerly Schweizer Aircraft, continues to produce the S-300C, S-300CBi and S-333 helicopters. Known for their durability and safety, these aircraft are operated in more than 70 countries worldwide.
Schweizer entered the world of helicopter manufacturing in 1947, when the company became a major subcontractor. In 1983, Schweizer acquired the licensing rights to the 300C helicopter program from Hughes Helicopters and began production of the first Schweizer-manufactured 300C helicopters the same year.
The first Schweizer-produced helicopter is still in operation at Applebee Aviation Inc. in Hillsboro, Ore., proving the 300C helicopter’s strength as a durable and dependable aircraft.
The 300C was the world’s standard training helicopter when Schweizer acquired the rights to the program. It was used in operations by the U.S. Army, international militaries and commercial helicopter operators. When Schweizer acquired the program, the worldwide 300C fleet stood at 2,700 helicopters. The cockpit size, load capacity, performance characteristics and robust design make the S-300C helicopter a leader in its class.
The Light Helicopter Division has recently renewed its interest in the agricultural aviation market with the S-300C helicopter. Sikorsky recently partnered with Simplex–Helipod to introduce the Simplex–Helipod Model H269 spray system to meet the particular needs of agricultural operators. This spray system has been designed specifically for S-300C and S-300CBi helicopters and begins the FAA certification process soon. The smaller, lighter, more economical S-300C aircraft gives operators a lower cost alternative to larger, turbine helicopters. The S-300C helicopter’s spray capabilities, combined with a direct operating cost that is one of the lowest in the market, make the S-300C a viable agricultural aircraft.
The S-300C has proved to be a useful platform for developing other model variations. Point designed for the commercial flight training market, the 300CB was introduced by Schweizer in 1995 and was later replaced by the 300CBi in 2002.
The S-300CBi helicopter is renowned for its excellent flight characteristics, impressive safety record and competitive operating costs. Combining these features has made it the most cost- and mission-effective training helicopter on the market.
The Light Helicopter Division’s line of helicopters meets the needs of diverse operators looking for economical aircraft. Airborne law enforcement operators, including border surveillance, maritime and coastal patrol, signals intercept, radar detection and pollution detection control, are using efficiency and direct operating costs as critical factors in the purchase decision-making process and are forced to find economical solutions, even as demand on their resources increases.
The S-333 combines a comfortable, first-class cabin with proven mechanical durability and efficiency. It features a spacious cockpit with excellent visibility, low cockpit noise, reduced pilot workload and low fatigue factors. Performance features include impressive speed, range, endurance and hover capabilities, precise maneuverability, high stability, wide center-of-gravity envelope, responsive controls and excellent auto rotational characteristics.
The S-333 can be re-configured to meet the demands of multiple missions. Optional configurations for patrol requirements include additional equipment such as an infrared system, monitor, searchlight, multi-band radio, cargo hook kit and a PA/siren system.
The S-333 helicopter’s low operating costs and mission flexibility will be further enhanced with the new S-434. Future plans for this aircraft include FAA certification in 2011, with first deliveries planned for 2012. Built on the S-333 platform, with additional technology from the Fire Scout VTUAV (vertical takeoff unmanned aerial vehicle), the S-434 will allow operators to fly faster, farther and carry more.
Advancements on the S-434 include a four-bladed rotor system, larger fuel tank, lower vibration, increased hover performance, rugged construction, a 10-knot cruise speed increase and one of the highest useful loads in its class. The S-434 helicopter features maximum performance and endurance capabilities for multiple missions and is equipped for cold weather and night flight.
Sikorsky Aircraft’s purchase of Schweizer Aircraft in 2004 expanded Schweizer’s market share. The company’s subsequent rebranding under Sikorsky Global Helicopters, as the Light Helicopter Division, has further identified light helicopters with Sikorsky’s powerful brand recognition and created an integrated system of sales and service to better serve customers.
For information, contact: Ashley Slaybaugh Marketing & Communications Phone: 1-607-378-6007 Web: www.sikorsky.com