Sikorsky Helicopter Receives Chinese Nod

Zacks

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a unit of United Technologies Corp. (UTX), declared that its S-76D aircraft has received China’s certification, jumpstarting its delivery to Chinese customers.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (:CAAC) issued a validation type certificate for the helicopters, which will support expansion of Sikorsky’s operations in a potentially profitable market and strengthen its foothold in the Chinese market.

Sikorsky Aircraft

The S-76D helicopter's baseline equipment includes powerful and competent Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210S engines, advanced integrated avionics system and four-axis autopilot. Health and Usage Monitoring System (:HUMS), a validated safety system, is also incorporated in the aircraft, with Rotor Ice Protection System (:RIPS) accessible as an option for all-weather adaptability.

The CAAC had previously sanctioned Sikorsky’s S-76A and S-76C helicopters. Over 30 S-76 choppers operate in China at present.

Budding Demand

The first customer of the S-76D helicopter in China is the Yunnan Jingcheng Group, with the delivery scheduled for this month. Jingcheng currently flies an S-92 helicopter and has placed an order for another, expected to be delivered in Nov 2015.

The S-76D helicopter is rapidly gaining popularity, as evidenced by its current order backlog of over $650 million. Having delivered more than 800 S-76 helicopters globally, Sikorsky has clocked over 6.4-million fleet flight hours to date.

Sikorsky, a global pioneer in designing, manufacturing and servicing helicopters, is Pentagon’s leading helicopter supplier. Just last week, Sikorsky successfully completed a preliminary series of tests mandated by the Naval Air Systems Command to test and validate the structural strength of its CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter.

United Technologies currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the industry that look promising include Federal Signal Corp. (FSS), Noble Group Limited (NOBGY) and Sumitomo Corporation (SSUMY), each of which sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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