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Sikorsky sells four choppers

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A California spinoff transport company has bought four Stratford-based Sikorsky helicopters, initially for energy field transport.

No figures were given, but web-sourced prices place the total deal at $55 million.

San Francisco-based Macquarie Group launched a helicopter leasing company, Macquarie Rotorcraft Leasing, in July. The new company specializes in supplying helicopters for oil and gas, medical transport, search-and-rescue and executive transport.

The choppers are two each of the S-92A and S-76D, manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. The deal includes “an unspecified number of options” to acquire additional aircraft. The four new helicopters will be configured initially for the oil and gas service markets.

Sikorsky, the largest employer in the county, is a subsidiary of Hartford-based United Technologies Corp.

Carey Bond, president of Sikorsky Global Helicopters, said, “With this agreement, we welcome a new customer and want to express our appreciation to Macquarie Rotorcraft Leasing for the trust and confidence they have shown in our aircraft. We look forward to a long and productive relationship.”

“With its proven performance in harsh environments, the S-92A helicopter has become an aircraft of choice for offshore oil operators,” Sikorsky reported. Sikorsky recently delivered its 200th S-92 helicopter. The worldwide S-92 fleet has logged more than 600,000 flight hours to date, mostly serving the offshore oil and gas industry.

The S-76D helicopter is Sikorsky’s newest aircraft, receiving FAA approvals in October 2012. The S-76D helicopter’s standard equipment includes all-composite, flaw-tolerant main rotor blades; an advanced avionics system and autopilot; health and usage monitoring system; and active vibration control. It is powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW210S engine, “which delivers the best in class power-to-weight ratio and fuel burn with excellent payload and range benefits.”

The 76-D lists for about $9.9 million without modifications. The price for the 92-A is about $17.7 million.

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