Changhe Aviation Industry could be established as a second source of S-76 airframes under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by Sikorsky and China Aviation Industry (AVIC) II and covering collaboration on development and manufacture of civil helicopters. Changhe already produces tail pylons for Sikorsky’s S-92A.

Under the MoU, the companies will “explore establishing” Changhe as a second source of airframes for the S-76 intermediate twin-turbine helicopter, which are built by Aero Vodochody in the Czech Republic.

Sales of the civil S-76 have soared, particularly to the offshore energy sector, and Sikorsky is establishing its US subsidiary Keystone Helicopter as a potential second assembly site for the helicopter.

Schweizer Aircraft, now a Sikorsky subsidiary, has already established Shangai Sikorsky Aircraft to assemble its Model 300 and 330 light helicopters in China.

Source: Flight International