The major components of the first Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk helicopter have been assembled at PZL Mielec's facility in Mielec, Poland.

This is the first time a Black Hawk helicopter has been assembled outside the USA. The first major join of components was completed earlier this month when the first cabin produced at Mielec was fitted to a Turkish Aerospace Industries tailcone and a cockpit section produced by Kaman Aerospace.

Launched by United Technologies-owned Sikorsky Aircraft at the Farnborough air show in 2006, the S-70i Black Hawk helicopter is intended to provide multi-mission, 10t utility lift capability at a price comparable to helicopters in the 6-8t class.

PZL Mielec, a Sikorsky company, is the S-70i's final assembly location. The helicopter is designed with a modular platform, a glass cockpit, an active vibration control system, a dual global positioning system/inertial navigation system with a digital map, and a General Electric T700-GE-701D engine with -701C controls.

The first S-70i assembled at Mielec is due for delivery at the end of 2010.

Meanwhile Sikorsky has delivered the first of three UH-60M helicopters to the US Federal Bureau of Ivestigations. The UH-60M incorporates a new composite-spar wide-chord blade providing 225kg (500lb) more lift than the UH-60L's blade, as well as the new T700-GE-701D engine. It is the US Army's third standard baseline Black Hawk helicopter version in the 30-year history of the programme. The -60A was delivered from 1978 and 1989, and the -60L from 1989 until 2007.

Sikorsky is working on an upgrade to the UH-60M helicopter. It will feature fly-by-wire flight controls, full authority digital engine controllers, and enhanced cockpit displays.

Source: Flight Daily News