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Sikorsky Aircraft

Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
Industry Aviation
Founded 1925
Founder Igor Sikorsky
Headquarters Stratford, Connecticut, United States
Key people
Robert Leduc (president, 2015)[1]
Number of employees
15,975[2] (2014)
Parent United Technologies Corporation
Subsidiaries Schweizer Aircraft
PZL Mielec

The Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation is an American aircraft manufacturer based in Stratford, Connecticut. It was established by Igor Sikorsky in 1925. Its parent company is United Technologies Corporation.


  • History 1
  • Products 2
    • Airplanes 2.1
    • Helicopters 2.2
    • Other aircraft 2.3
    • Other products 2.4
  • Gallery 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Sikorsky was founded in 1925 by aircraft engineer Igor Sikorsky, an American immigrant who was born in Kiev.[3] The company, named "Sikorsky Manufacturing Company", began aircraft production in Roosevelt, New York, that year. In 1929 the company moved to Stratford, Connecticut. It became a part of United Aircraft and Transport Corporation (now United Technologies Corporation) in July of that year.[4]

Advertisement for Sikorsky S-42 Clipper flying boat from 1937

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.[4] He took this opportunity to begin 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 large full-scale production in 1942, upon which the majority of subsequent helicopters were based (though Sikorsky did not invent the helicopter itself).

Sikorsky Aircraft remains one of the leading helicopter manufacturers, producing such well-known models as the UH-60 Black Hawk and SH-60 Seahawk, as well as experimental types like the Sikorsky S-72 X-Wing. It is a leading defense contractor. Sikorsky has supplied the Presidential helicopter since 1957. Sikorsky's VH-3 and VH-60 currently perform this role.

The company acquired Helicopter Support Inc. (HSI) in 1998. HSI handles non-U.S. government after-market support for parts and repair for the Sikorsky product lines.[5]

UTC acquired Schweizer Aircraft Corp. in 2004,[6] which now operates as a subsidiary of Sikorsky. The product lines of the two firms are complementary, and have very 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,[7] 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.[8][9]

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.[10] 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.[10] It is based at Coatesville, Pennsylvania.[10]

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.[11] 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 Shelton, and Bridgeport, Connecticut; Fort Worth, Texas; West Palm Beach, Florida; and Huntsville, and Troy, Alabama. Other Sikorsky-owned subsidiaries are in Trumbull, Connecticut; Coatesville, Pennsylvania; and Grand Prairie, Texas; among others around the world.

In 2015 UTC considers Sikorsky to be less profitable than the other subsidiaries, and analyzes a possible spin-off rather than a tax-heavy sale.[12][13][14] Analysts believe other helicopter companies would not acquire Sikorsky,[15] and that a spinoff would be good for both Sikorsky and UTC.[16] Projected Sikorsky production is around 1,600 military helicopters between 2015 and 2029, for a market share of 19 percent – second only to Russian Helicopters.[17]

On July 20, 2015, Lockheed Martin announced an agreement to purchase Sikorsky from UTC for $9.0 billion.[18]


Sikorsky designates nearly all of its models with S-numbers; numbers S-1 through S-20 were designed by Igor Sikorsky in Russia (see Igor Sikorsky). 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

Other products


See also


  1. ^ United Technologies Picks Retiree to Lead Copter Unit. The New York Times. Retrieved on April 3, 2015.
  2. ^ "Sikorsky Aircraft's big impact on region". Connecticut Post. Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  3. ^ About Sikorsky. Sikorsky Aircraft, accessed 10 May 2008.
  4. ^ a b Spenser 1998
  5. ^ About Us.
  6. ^ Schweizer acquisition press release
  7. ^ Hawk Works opening article
  8. ^ "Sikorsky breathes new life into PZL Mielec". Flight International, June 8, 2010.
  9. ^ "First S-70i Helicopter Fully Assembled at Sikorsky Facility in Poland". Sikorsky, March 15, 2010.
  10. ^ a b c Sikorsky Press Release, 23 February 2009
  11. ^ "Sikorsky to close N.Y. plant, cut 570 jobs". Connecticut Post. Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  12. ^ "United Technologies To Explore Strategic Alternatives For Its Sikorsky Aircraft Business" UTC Press Release, 11 March 2015.
  13. ^ By MARCUS WEISGERBER and ZACHARY FRYER-BIGGS, Vago Muradian. "UTC Weighs Sikorsky's Future" 27 January 2015.
  14. ^ Bruno, Michael (12 March 2015). "Sikorsky Not Profitable Enough For United Technologies".  
  15. ^ Mehta, Aaron (14 March 2015), "Sikorsky Decision May Signal Trend",  
  16. ^ Aboulafia, Richard. "UTC's Sikorsky Spinoff: Good For UTC, Good For Sikorsky...Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad" Forbes, 13 March 2015. Retrieved: 16 March 2015. Archive
  17. ^ Dubois, Thierry (16 March 2015). "UTC Considers Sikorsky Divestiture". Aviation International News. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  18. ^ "Lockheed Martin to Acquire Sikorsky Aircraft and Conduct Strategic Review of IT and Technical Services Businesses". Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  19. ^ a b Sikorsky Helicopters -
  20. ^ "American airplanes: Sikorsky". 2009-04-26. Retrieved 2011-04-07. 
  21. ^ "Sikorsky S-71 profile for AAH". Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  22. ^ Turbo-Train. Archived March 29, 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ Gunboat: Assault Support Patrol Boat.
  • Spenser, Jay P. "Sikorsky". Whirlybirds, A History of the U.S. Helicopter Pioneers. University of Washington Press, 1998. ISBN 0-295-97699-3.

External links

  • Sikorsky homepage
  • Sikorsky Timeline at the Helicopter History Site
  • Sikorsky Archives site
  • "Patents owned by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation". US Patent & Trademark Office. Retrieved December 6, 2005. 

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