The American Chamber of Commerce in Poland, bestowed its 2008 Investor of the Year Award upon Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. Acknowledging the company’s work in acquiring, modernizing and integrating Poland’s PZL Mielec factory into Sikorsky’s operations. Sikorsky, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., bought PZL Mielec in 2007.
Founded in 1938 as part of the Polish aircraft manufacturer PZL, the PZL Mielec factory was overrun by the Germans during WWII and forced to produce Heinkel He 111 bomber tail fins. In 1945, the Soviets seized the PZL Mielec factory. After it was turned over the postwar Polish Communist regime, PZL Mielec produced Antonov AN-2s/AN-28s and MiG15s/17s under license, plus numerous Polish designs.
PZL Mielec enjoyed a renaissance thanks to Sikorsky investing millions in fixed assets, environmental remediation and human resources training. Employment has also increased by 11 percent, to 1,640 full-time personnel.
Citing Sikorsky’s dedication to Poland, Sikorsky president Jeffrey P. Pino said, "As production plans move forward for the S-70i Black Hawk helicopter to be built there, we have big plans for Polish production and export of aircraft and components as well." Included in those plans is producing cabins and other major assemblies of the UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter, production and export of the PZL Mielec M28 aircraft and more.
Sikorsky is based in Stratford, Conn. and has eight other aerospace subsidiaries.