Philippines receives Sokol helicopters

Feb. 19, 2013 at 12:42 PM
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SWIDNIK, Poland, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- The Philippines air force has received the last two of eight Sokol twin-engine, multipurpose helicopters from PZL-Swidnik of Poland.

The helicopters were ordered from AgustaWestland in 2010 and were transported to the Philippines aboard a large Russian-made cargo plane.

"It gives me a great pleasure to complete the handover of the Sokol helicopters produced in Swidnik to the customer," said Nicola Bianco, managing director of PZL-Swidnik S.A. "The delivery from Lublin Airport is an important milestone and for sure in the future we'll cooperate further with Lublin Airport in connection with PZL-Swidnik operations."

The Philippines air force pilots flying the Sokol were trained at the company facility in Poland.

The Sokol has a cruise speed of 148 miles per hour, a range of 463 miles and a service ceiling of more than 16,000 feet.

For the Philippines, they are equipped with a four-axis autopilot, EFIS system and night-vision goggle compatible cockpit. It can transport as many as 11 troops passengers in its cabin or can lift as much as 4,630 pounds with an external cargo hook.

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