MIELEC, Poland, April 6 (UPI) -- Sikorsky Aircraft reports its flight test operations in Poland are fully operational and it is preparing to deliver S-70i helicopters to customers.
The S-70i helicopter is the newest Black Hawk variant being produced for the international market. PZL Mielec, which recently marked its fourth anniversary as a Sikorsky company, is the final assembly center and production test flight hub for the program.
"The overall performance of the S-70i Black Hawk helicopter final assembly and test flight operations at PZL Mielec has exceeded Sikorsky's expectations," said Robert Mastronardi, S-70i senior program manager, Sikorsky Military Systems. "The leadership team and work force has seamlessly transitioned to production of the Black Hawk helicopter and are now ramping up to full production quantities."
In preparation for flight testing capabilities at PZL Mielec, Sikorsky refurbished an existing hangar and paint shop and added a rescue and fire station.
The facility can house two Black Hawk helicopters with blades installed, or three without blades. Plans call for the hangar space to be increased this year and PZL Mielec plans to hire and train additional Polish test pilots this year to support flight operations that will commence in 2012.
The S-70i Black Hawk helicopter incorporates the latest technology with advanced features such as a fully integrated digital cockpit with a dual digital automatic flight control system and coupled flight director. It also features an active vibration control system.
Its dual GPS/INS system with digital map provides accurate and redundant navigation demanding tactical environments.