Sikorsky Aircraft


Sikorsky Aircraft
Defense industry
Founded1923; 98 years ago (1923)
FounderIgor Sikorsky
United States
Key people
Dan Schultz (President)[1]
ProductsHelicopters, other aircraft
Number of employees
15,975[2] (2014)
ParentLockheed Martin
SubsidiariesSchweizer Aircraft (closed 2012)
PZL Mielec

Sikorsky Aircraft is an American aircraft manufacturer based in Stratford, Connecticut. It was established by famed aviator Igor Sikorsky in 1923 and was among the first companies to manufacture helicopters for civilian and military use.

Previously owned by United Technologies Corporation, in November 2015 Sikorsky was sold to Lockheed Martin.


On 5 March 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 Kyiv.[5][6] In 1925, the company name was changed to Sikorsky Manufacturing Company.[7] After the success of the S-38, the company was reorganized as the Sikorsky Aviation Corporation with capital of $5,000,000, allowing the purchase of land and the building of a modern aircraft factory in Stratford. In 1929, the company moved to Stratford, Connecticut, and it became a part of United Aircraft and Transport Corporation (later United Technologies Corporation or UTC) in July of that year.[8][9]

Advertisement for Sikorsky S-42 Clipper flying boat from 1937

In the United States, Igor Sikorsky originally concentrated on the development of multiengine landplanes and then amphibious aircraft. In the late 1930s, sales declined and United Aircraft merged his division with Vought Aircraft.[8] 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 such as the Sikorsky S-72. Sikorsky has supplied the Presidential helicopter since 1957. Sikorsky's VH-3 and VH-60 perform this role now.

The company acquired Helicopter Support Inc. (HSI) in 1998. HSI handles non-U.S. government aftermarket support for parts and repair for the Sikorsky product lines.[10][11]

UTC acquired Schweizer Aircraft Corp. in 2004,[12] after which it operated as a subsidiary of Sikorsky. The product lines of the two firms were complementary, and had little overlap, as Sikorsky primarily concentrates on medium and large helicopters, while Schweizer produces small helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), 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.

Sikorsky Aircraft logo until November 2015

In 2007, Sikorsky opened the Hawk Works,[13] a Rapid Prototyping and Military Derivatives Completion Center 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.[14][15]

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.[16] The business unit combined the main civil helicopters that were produced by Sikorsky Aircraft and the helicopter business of Schweizer Aircraft that Sikorsky had acquired in 2004.[16] It is based at Coatesville, Pennsylvania.[16][needs update]

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.[17] The commercial products had already been moved to their Coatesville, Pennsylvania facility.

Sikorsky's main plant and administrative offices are located in Stratford, Connecticut, as is a large company-owned private heliport (ICAO: KJSD, FAA LID: JSD).[18] Other Sikorsky facilities are in Trumbull, Shelton, and Bridgeport, Connecticut (with small company heliport (FAA LID: CT37));[19] Fort Worth, Texas; West Palm Beach, Florida; and Huntsville and Troy, Alabama. Other Sikorsky-owned subsidiaries are in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, Grand Prairie, Texas, and elsewhere 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.[20][21][22]

On July 20, 2015, Lockheed Martin announced an agreement to purchase Sikorsky from UTC for $9.0 billion.[23] The deal required review from eight different jurisdictions, and the final approval (from Chinese government) came in November 2015.[24] The sale was completed on November 6, 2015.[25]

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. Canadian engineers Dr. Todd Reichert and Cameron Robertson developed the world's largest 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.[26]


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.


Helicopters, production

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-52 H-18/HO5S 1947 2,700 1.225 all-metal rotors
S-55 H-19 Chickasaw 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 1959 19,000 8.62 medium-lift transport/airliner
S-61 SH-3 Sea King 1959 1970s 22,050 10 ASW, SAR or transport
S-61 CH-124 Sea King 1963 2018 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 twin-turbine medium transport/utility, selected in 1976 for the US Army UTTAS, 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 current 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 current 28,650 13 Canadian military S-92 to replace the CH-124 Sea King
S-300C 1964 2018 2,050 0.93 three-seat single-piston, currently made by Schweizer RSG
S-333 1992 2018 2,550 1.16 single turbine S-300, currently made by Schweizer RSG
S-434 2008 2015 3,200 1.45 improved S-333
S-80 CH-53K King Stallion 2018 current 84,700 38.4 CH-53E Super Stallion/S-80 development

Helicopters, prototypes

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[27]
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.[28][29][30]
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

Other aircraft

Other products


See also

Comparable major helicopter manufacturers:



  1. ^ "Daniel C. Schultz · Lockheed Martin". Retrieved 2016-03-10.
  2. ^ "Sikorsky Aircraft's big impact on region". Connecticut Post. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  3. ^ "Sikorsky Development Flight Center". Retrieved 2019-02-09.
  4. ^ John Pike (2007-10-05). "Sikorsky opens HAWK WORKS™ completion center for military helicopters". Retrieved 2016-03-10.
  5. ^ "About Sikorsky". Archived from the original on July 2, 2009. Retrieved June 5, 2009.
  6. ^ Sikorsky, Igor (1944). The Story of the Winged-S. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company. p. 160. ISBN 9781258163556.
  7. ^ Sikorsky, Igor (1944). The Story of the Winged-S. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company. p. 185. ISBN 9781258163556.
  8. ^ a b Spenser 1998
  9. ^ Sikorsky, Igor (1952). The Story of the Winged-S. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company. pp. 154, 183–184.
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ "Spare Parts". HSI. Archived from the original on 1999-02-03. Retrieved 2019-01-11.
  12. ^ "Sikorsky's Acquisition of Schweizer is Complete" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on April 10, 2008. Retrieved March 18, 2008.
  13. ^ John Pike (2007-10-05). "Sikorsky opens HAWK WORKS™ completion center for military helicopters". Retrieved 2016-03-10.
  14. ^ "Sikorsky breathes new life into PZL Mielec". Archived from the original on June 11, 2010. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
  15. ^ "First S-70iTM Helicopter Fully Assembled at Sikorsky Facility in Poland". Archived from the original on January 10, 2011. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
  16. ^ a b c Sikorsky Press Release, 23 February 2009
  17. ^ "Sikorsky to close N.Y. plant, cut 570 jobs". Connecticut Post. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  18. ^ "Sikorsky Heliport". 13 August 2002. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  19. ^ "Sikorsky Bridgeport Heliport". 13 August 2002. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  20. ^ "United Technologies To Explore Strategic Alternatives For Its Sikorsky Aircraft Business | News | United Technologies". 2015-11-03. Archived from the original on 2016-01-26. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
  21. ^ "UTC Weighs Sikorsky's Future". 2014-01-27. Archived from the original on January 31, 2014. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
  22. ^ Bruno, Michael (12 March 2015). "Sikorsky Not Profitable Enough For United Technologies". Aviation Week & Space Technology. Archived from the original on 14 March 2015. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  23. ^ "Lockheed Martin to Acquire Sikorsky Aircraft and Conduct Strategic Review of IT and Technical Services Businesses". Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  24. ^ "Lockheed Martin receives final regulatory approval needed to close Sikorsky acquisition| Vertical Magazine - The Pulse of the Helicopter Industry". Retrieved 2016-03-10.
  25. ^ "Lockheed Martin Completes Acquisition of Sikorsky Aircraft · Lockheed Martin". Retrieved 2016-03-10.
  26. ^ "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.
  27. ^ Art Linden (June 2013). "S-68, Commercial Transport". Sikorsky Archives. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  28. ^ "Sikorsky History - Part 4". Retrieved 2016-03-10.
  29. ^ "American airplanes: Sikorsky". 2009-04-26. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
  30. ^ "Sikorsky S-71 profile for AAH". Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  31. ^ "Turbo-Train". Archived from the original on March 29, 2010. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
  32. ^ "Gunboat". Retrieved 2 May 2020.


  • Spenser, Jay P. (1998). "Sikorsky". Whirlybirds: A History of the U.S. Helicopter Pioneers. University of Washington Press. 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.

Coordinates: 41°15′0″N 73°5′50″W / 41.25000°N 73.09722°W / 41.25000; -73.09722