The Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation is an American aircraft manufacturer based in Stratford, Connecticut. It was established by Igor Sikorsky in 1923 and was among the first companies to manufacture helicopters for civilian and military use.
|Dan Schultz (President)|
|Products||Helicopters, other aircraft|
Number of employees
|Subsidiaries||Schweizer Aircraft (closed 2012) |
Previously owned by United Technologies Corporation (UTC), in November 2015 Sikorsky was sold to Lockheed Martin.
On May 23, 1923, the "Sikorsky Aero Engineering Corporation" was founded near Roosevelt Field, New York by Igor Sikorsky, an immigrant to the United States who was born in Kiev. In 1925, the company name was changed to "Sikorsky Manufacturing Company". In 1929, the company moved to Stratford, Connecticut, and it became a part of United Aircraft and Transport Corporation (now United Technologies Corporation) in July of that year.
In the United States, Igor Sikorsky originally concentrated on the development of multi-engined landplanes and then amphibious aircraft. In the late 1930s, sales declined and United Aircraft merged his division with Vought Aircraft. He then began work on developing a practical helicopter. After first flying the VS-300 he developed the Sikorsky R-4, the first stable, single-rotor, fully controllable helicopter to enter full-scale production in 1942, upon which most subsequent helicopters were based.
Sikorsky Aircraft remains a leading helicopter manufacturer, producing such well-known models as the UH-60 Black Hawk and SH-60 Seahawk, and experimental types like the Sikorsky S-72. Sikorsky has supplied the Presidential helicopter since 1957. Sikorsky's VH-3 and VH-60 perform this role now.
United Technologies Corporation (UTC) acquired Schweizer Aircraft Corp. in 2004, which now operates as a subsidiary of Sikorsky. The product lines of the two firms are complementary, and have little overlap, as Sikorsky primarily concentrates on medium and large helicopters, while Schweizer produces small helicopters, UAVs, gliders, and light planes. The Schweizer deal was signed on August 26, 2004, exactly one week after the death of Paul Schweizer, the company's founder and majority owner. In late 2005, Sikorsky completed the purchase of Keystone Helicopter Corporation, located in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. Keystone had been maintaining and completing Sikorsky S-76 and S-92 helicopters prior to the sale.
In 2007, Sikorsky opened the Hawk Works, a Rapid Prototyping and Military Derivatives Completion Center (RPMDCC) located west of the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport in Big Flats, New York. That same year Sikorsky purchased the PZL Mielec plant in Poland. The plant is assembling the S-70i for international customers.
In February 2009, Sikorsky Global Helicopters was created as a business unit of Sikorsky Aircraft to focus on the construction and marketing of commercial helicopters. The business unit combines the main civil helicopters that were produced by Sikorsky Aircraft and the helicopter business of Schweizer Aircraft that Sikorsky has acquired in 2004. It is based at Coatesville, Pennsylvania.
In 2011, Sikorsky laid off 400 workers at the Hawk Works plant, and later in 2012 the remaining 570 workers and closed all Sikorsky facilities in Chemung County; moving the military completion work to their West Palm Beach, Florida facility. The commercial products had already been moved to their Coatesville, Pennsylvania facility.
Sikorsky's main plant and administrative offices are located in Stratford, Connecticut. Other Sikorsky facilities are in Trumbull, Shelton, and Bridgeport, Connecticut; Fort Worth, Texas; West Palm Beach, Florida; and Huntsville, and Troy, Alabama. Other Sikorsky-owned subsidiaries are in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, Grand Prairie, Texas, and others around the world.
In 2015, UTC considered Sikorsky to be less profitable than its other subsidiaries, and analyzed a possible spin-off rather than a tax-heavy sale.
On July 20, 2015, Lockheed Martin announced an agreement to purchase Sikorsky from UTC for $9.0 billion. Final approval (from the Chinese government) came in November 2015. The sale was completed on November 6, 2015.
AHS Sikorsky Prize
In 1980, the American Helicopter Society International offered a prize of US$10,000 for the first human-powered helicopter flight (60-second duration, a height of 3 meters, and staying within an area of 10 x 10 m) and soon increased prize money to US$25,000. In 2010, Sikorsky Aircraft pledged to increase the prize sponsorship to US$250,000. The Canadian engineers Dr. Todd Reichert and Cameron Robertson developed the world's largest ever human powered helicopter with a team from the University of Toronto. The first flight of AeroVelo Atlas was achieved in August 2012, the 64-second, 3.3-m-flight that won the prize on June 13, 2013.
Sikorsky designates nearly all of its models with S-numbers; numbers S-1 through S-27 were designed by Igor Sikorsky before he left the Russian Empire. 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.
- Sikorsky S-29-A: twin-engine cargo biplane. First Sikorsky built in the U.S. (1924)
- Sikorsky S-30: twin-engine, never built. (1925)
- Sikorsky S-31: single-engine biplane (1925)
- Sikorsky S-32: single-engine two-passenger biplane (1926)
- Sikorsky S-33: "Messenger" single-engine biplane (1925)
- Sikorsky S-34: twin-engine flying boat prototype (1927)
- Sikorsky S-35: three-engine biplane prototype (1926)
- Sikorsky S-36: eight-seat two-engine flying boat "Amphibion" (1927)
- Sikorsky S-37: "Guardian" eight-seat two-engine biplane (1927)
- Sikorsky S-38: eight-seat two-engine boat flying boat (USN PS) (1928–1933)
- Sikorsky RS: transport flying boat (USN RS)
- Sikorsky S-39: five-seat single-engine variant of S-38 (1929–1932)
- Sikorsky S-40: "Flying Forest" four-engine 28-passenger flying boat (1931)
- Sikorsky S-41: twin-engine flying boat (1931) (USN RS-1)
- Sikorsky XP2S: twin-engine patrol flying boat prototype (1932)
- Sikorsky S-42: "Clipper" four-engine flying boat (1934–1935)
- Sikorsky S-43: "Baby Clipper" twin-engine amphibious flying boat (1935–1937) (Army OA-1, USN JRS-1)
- Sikorsky VS-44: "Excalibur" four-engine flying boat (1937)
- Sikorsky S-45: six-engine flying boat (for Pan Am). Never built (1938)
|Model||Designation||From||Until||MTOW (lb, t)||Notes|
|S-47||R-4||1942||1944||2,581||1.17||world's first production helicopter|
|S-48/S-51||R-5/H-5||1944||1952||4,825||2.19||higher load, endurance, speed, and service ceiling than the R-4|
|S-49||R-6||1945||2,600||1.18||improved R-4 with new fuselage|
|S-55||H-19||1949||7,500||3.41||ten passenger utility, H-19 Chickasaw|
|S-56||CH-37 Mojave||1953||31,000||14.1||twin-piston engined, H-37A Mojave|
|S-58||H-34 Choctaw||1954||1970||14,000||6.35||18 passenger larger, advanced S-55, including ASW, VIP versions|
|S-61||SH-3 Sea King||1959||1970s||22,050||10||ASW, SAR or transport|
|S-61||CH-124 Sea King||1963||22,050||10||Canadian Armed Forces export version|
|S-61R||CH-3/HH-3||1963||1970s||22,050||10||S-61 with rear cargo ramp: CH-3, HH-3 "Jolly Green Giant", and HH-3F Pelican (1963)|
|S-62||HH-52 Seaguard||1958||8,300||3.76||amphibious helicopter|
|S-64 Skycrane||CH-54 Tarhe||1962||42,000||19.05||"flying crane"|
|S-64||CH-54 Tarhe||1962||47,000||21||US Army transport|
|S-65||CH-53 Sea Stallion||1964||1978||42,000||19.1||medium/heavy lift transport|
|S-65||MH-53||1967||1970||46,000||21||long-range search and rescue|
|S-70||UH-60 Black Hawk||1974||current||23,500||10.66||selected in 1976 for the US Army UTTAS|
|S-70||H-60||1979||current||22,000||9.98||twin-turbine medium transport/utility, multiple models|
|S-70||SH-60 Sea Hawk||1979||current||23,000||10.4||US Navy anti-ship warfare, combat, SAR, support, Medevac|
|S-70||HH-60 Pave Hawk||1982||22,000||9.9||USAF combat, SAR, Medevac with PAVE electronics|
|S-70||HH-60 Jayhawk||1990||1996||21,884||9.93||US Coast Guard SAR and patrol|
|S-76||1977||current||11,700||5.31||twin turbine, 14-seat commercial (ex S-74)|
|S-80||CH-53E Super Stallion||1974||1980s||73,500||33.3||CH-53 derived, export version: S-80|
|S-92||H-92 Superhawk||1998||current||27,700||12.6||twin-turbine medium-lift developed from the S-70|
|S-92||CH-148 Cyclone||2018||28,650||13||Canadian military S-92 to replace the CH-124 Sea King|
|S-300C||1964||2,050||0.93||Hughes 300 then Schweizer 300, three-seat single-piston|
|S-333||1992||current||2,550||1.16||single turbine S-300|
|S-80||CH-53K King Stallion||2018||84,700||38.4||CH-53E Super Stallion/S-80 development|
|Model||Designation||Year||MTOW (lb, t)||Notes|
|S-46||VS-300||1939||1,150||0.52||first US single lifting rotor helicopter|
|S-53||XHJS-1||1947||naval utility, two prototypes|
|S-59||XH-39||1953||3,361||1.53||2 H-18s converted to use one turbine, 1 prototype|
|S-60||1959||21,000||9.5||CH-37-derived prototype "flying crane", crashed 1961|
|S-67||Blackhawk||1970||24,272||11||attack prototype, predecessor: S-66 AAFSS competitor|
|S-68||proposed modification of the S-58T, none built|
|S-69||1973||12,500||5.7||prototype jet compound helicopter with coaxial rotors|
|S-71||AAH||US Army Advanced Attack Helicopter entry with S-70 dynamic components.|
|S-72||1976||26,047||11.8||NASA experimental jet hybrid|
|S-73||HLH||118,000||53.5||US Army Heavy Lift Helicopter entry|
|S-75||1984||8,470||3.82||advanced Composite Airframe Program (ACAP) all-composite, two prototypes|
|S-97 Raider||AAS||2015||11,000||4.99||US Army Armed Aerial Scout proposed compound helicopter|
|S-100||SB-1 Defiant||2019||compound helicopter with rigid coaxial rotors for US Army's Future Vertical Lift|
|Firefly||electric S-300 unveiled in 2010|
|X2||2008||6,000||2.72||experimental high-speed compound helicopter with coaxial rotors|
- Sikorsky XBLR-3: Bomber aircraft (1935-1936)
- Sikorsky XSS: Naval scout flying-boat (1933)
- Boeing-Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche
- Sikorsky S-57/XV-2: Supersonic convertiplane with single blade retractable rotor. Never built.
- Sikorsky Cypher: Doughnut-shaped UAV (1992)
- Sikorsky Cypher II: development of the Cypher (2001)
- Vertical Take-Off and Landing Experimental Aircraft - design and development of a hybrid VTOL/Conventional design
- UAC TurboTrain (1968)
- Sikorsky ASPB Assault Support Patrol Boat (1969)
Comparable major helicopter manufacturers:
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- Spenser 1998
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- "Lockheed Martin receives final regulatory approval needed to close Sikorsky acquisition| Vertical Magazine - The Pulse of the Helicopter Industry". Verticalmag.com. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- "Lockheed Martin Completes Acquisition of Sikorsky Aircraft · Lockheed Martin". Lockheedmartin.com. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- "AHS Congratulates AeroVelo for Human Powered Helicopter First Flight". AHS International – The Vertical Flight Technical Society. August 28, 2012. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
The AeroVelo Atlas human-powered helicopter made its first flight on Tuesday August 28, 2012, as part of the AHS Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition.
- Art Linden (June 2013). "S-68, Commercial Transport". Sikorsky Archives. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
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- Spenser, Jay P. "Sikorsky". Whirlybirds, A History of the U.S. Helicopter Pioneers. University of Washington Press, 1998. ISBN 0-295-97699-3.
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