Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation Completes First Flight Of S-76D Helicopter

Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation reports it has successfully completed the first flight of its S-76D helicopter, the latest version of the S-76 helicopter, maneuvering the prototype aircraft through taxi, hover, hover turns, and forward flight to 40 knots in a test flight that lasted approximately 30 minutes.

Sikorsky Chief Test Pilot Greg Barnes and Pilot Mike Hardy conducted the test flight at Sikorsky's Florida facility on Feb. 7. The milestone culminated more than three years of design, development and testing of the first prototype aircraft.

(S-76A Helicopter Pictured Here - Photo Credit: Sikorsky)
"The next generation of the S-76 helicopter begins today," said Jason Durno, Program Manager. "The S-76D helicopter brings Sikorsky's popular S-76 aircraft to the next level in performance. It is through the dedication of this program team that the 'D' will open the door to new applications for this aircraft model."

Among the S-76D helicopter’s features are all-composite, flaw-tolerant main rotor blades; an advanced Thales avionics system and autopilot; dual speed rotor with active vibration control; powerful Pratt & Whitney 210S engines; a quiet mode for enhanced public acceptance; and an optional Rotor Ice Protection System (RIPS) for all-weather capability. The S-76D helicopter also will offer an increase in useful load and extended range performance versus the S-76C+TM and S-76C++T aircraft currently fielded.

(S-76C+ Helicopter Pictured Here - Photo Credit: Sikorsky)

The S-76D helicopter is scheduled to enter production with certification, and customer deliveries in 2010. Sikorsky already has approximately 100 delivery position agreements on the aircraft.

Source: Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
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Cessna Launches Campaign to Counter Business Aircraft Misinformation

Cessna Aircraft Company has announced a new initiative to address misinformation on the businessuse of general aviation aircraft and to provide a more accurate pictureof the value of business aircraft as a resource that makes companiesmore competitive.

“We think it’s time the other side of the story be told, and thatsupport be given to those businesses with the good judgment and courageto use business aviation to not only help their businesses survive thecurrent financial crisis, but more quickly forge a path toward aneconomic upturn,” said Cessna Chairman, President and CEO Jack J.Pelton.

“Today, we are demanding business leaders and managers work at theirabsolute peak to turn their companies, and our economy, around,” Peltonsaid. “Business aviation provides the means to do just that. A businessaircraft is a tool of industry, and one that should see its highest andbest use during times of fiscal crisis. Anyone who has ever seenmanagers board a business aircraft at dawn and return well after dark,having visited multiple cities and attended countless meetings in oneday can attest to the fact that business aviation allows companies toget the most out of every minute of every day – exactly what is neededto work our way toward economic recovery.”

Pelton said the reality of business aviation is that some 85 percent ofaircraft used by businesses are used by small or medium-sizedcompanies, and that the large majority of the passengers are middlemanagers and technicians. The aircraft, for the most part, are single-and twin-engine propeller and turboprop aircraft or small or mediumsized jets.

“The reality of business aviation is a far cry from the misconceptionof CEOs flying in large luxurious airplanes,” Pelton said. “Most ofthese aircraft are fairly Spartan, designed for business, with a cabinabout the size of a minivan or SUV interior.”

Source: Cessna Aircraft Company
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Sale of Cessna Aircraft By Textron? Possible...But Not Likely

Could Cessna Aircraft Company be up for sale?

According to a story on Kansas.com, Cessna’s owner, Textron, says it has not ruled out putting the company up for sale to raise cash, but the story also quotes analysts who say it is not likely.

Textron has been hurting due to losses in its financial unit and needs to raise more cash. The story also reports that due to the sluggish economy, a sale of Cessna would be unlikely because it would not bring fair market value for the company.

While Cessna has cut aircraft delivery expectations for this year, the company has announced it will continue development of new products in anticipation of an economic upturn.

Source: Kansas.com
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Bombardier Aerospace Delivers 353 Aircraft and Records 378 Net Orders in Fiscal Year 2008/09

Bombardier Aerospace is dealing with the same tough market that has hurt other aircraft companies, but they recently announced the delivery of 353* aircraft for the fiscal year ending January 31, 2009.

According to Bombardier Aerospace, this compares to 361 aircraft deliveries in the previous fiscal year 2007/08 (year ending January 31, 2008).

Bombardier also received 378* aircraft orders, net of cancellations, compared to an exceptional 698 orders, net of cancellations, for the previous fiscal year. Its book-to-bill ratio for the year stands at 1.07. (*Unaudited results)

For the current fiscal year 2009/10, Bombardier expects to deliver a slightly lower total number of aircraft than last fiscal year 2008/09.

“The industry is experiencing strong turbulence and we anticipate more volatility in the short term. The fundamentals of Bombardier Aerospace are solid, but we expect we will face more challenges this year,” said Guy C. Hachey, President and Chief Operating Officer, Bombardier Aerospace.

“While the Corporation has taken significant steps to strengthen its operational and financial position over the last years, we must continue to be prudent and take decisive action. We will thus ensure our continued success over the long term and maintain our leadership position by meeting our customer commitments and by continuing to invest in our current and future products,” he added.

Source: Bombardier Aerospace
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