January 25, 2000:
Sikorsky says wins first S-92 orders
STRATFORD, Conn.,USA ( Reuters ) -
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a unit of United Technologies Corp. ,
said on Tuesday it has signed a launch customer for its new S-92 helicopter.
Halifax, Nova Scotia-based Cougar Helicopters, a company that transports workers to offshore oil rigs, has agreed to buy up to five of the new 19-seat helicopters, Sikorsky said.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but the offshore variant of the S-92 costs about $12.5-13 million each, a company spokesman said.
Deliveries will begin in 2002, and Sikorsky said it expects to announce more orders soon. Other potential customers are in the offshore oil and executive
The S-92 will also be marketed for military use.
``Cougar makes an ideal launch customer for us,'' said Tommy Thomason, Sikorsky's vice president of civil helicopter programs. ``They will put the aircraft to the test with very high utilization, actual icing conditions, and a requirement for the high service levels we have designed in.''
The S-92, which Sikorsky is building with five other companies around the world, is on track to win Federal Aviation Administration certification next year, the company said.
``This is a big event for us, because it marks where the first aircraft of this new type will go, and it's not every day or even every year that a new helicopter is
introduced,'' said Bill Tuttle, a Sikorsky spokesman.
The S-92 is the industry's first new ``medium'' category helicopter (weighing from 15,000 to 35,000 lbs, or 6,818 to 15,909 kg) in 15 years.
Stratford, Conn.-based Sikorsky, one of the world's biggest helicopter makers, had 1999 revenues of $1.4 billion. It delivered 65 aircraft last year, Tuttle said.