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Sikorsky Aircraft and Brazilian aerospace academics launch rotorcraft innovation collaboration

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. and the Brazilian Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (ITA) today celebrated the launch of the Collaboration for Rotorcraft Innovation to accelerate the development of rotorcraft technologists in Brazil. The initiative aims to increase undergraduate exposure to rotorcraft principles as part of a well-rounded aerospace engineering education in a country whose military already flies both BLACK HAWK and SEAHAWK® helicopters. Sikorsky Aircraft is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX)

ITA, ranking as one of the top engineering universities in Brazil, is a federal government institution dedicated to providing high-level education and research in the fields of aerospace, science and technology. As one of the institutes that encompass the Brazilian General Command for Aerospace Technology (DCTA), ITA is uniquely positioned in the training of both military and civilian members of the Brazilian aerospace community

“Whether for commercial transport, offshore oil operations, or military missions, Sikorsky helicopters have been an integral part of the Brazilian aviation landscape and a symbol of its leading role in rotary wing operations,” said Antonio Pugas, Sikorsky's Regional Executive for Latin America. “The demand for in-country rotary wing assets continues to grow with the delivery of new, advanced helicopter systems to Brazil's armed forces. Sikorsky is pleased to be collaborating with this recognized leader in academia to provide them with a strong background in rotorcraft design."

As part of the collaboration, ITA will use Sikorsky funds to augment its robust aerospace engineering program to provide additional curriculum related to rotorcraft, experienced staff to instruct this new material, and sponsored scholarships for student research related to rotorcraft. The new curriculum will be available beginning with the coming Fall semester. A Rotorcraft Innovation Lab, sponsored by Sikorsky, will include a fixed-base flight simulator and other equipment to facilitate this teaching and research, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2015. Sikorsky will provide on campus visiting mentors to assist with these classes and the associated research.

“It has been our ongoing mission at ITA to develop the next generation of aerospace engineers, and to grow our program to include rotorcraft design,” said ITA Vice Dean Fernando Toshinori Sakane. “We are thrilled to move forward in working with Sikorsky, one of the world's leading helicopter companies, to educate our outstanding engineering students, and to contribute to the exciting new developments in vertical flight technologies.

“As the technology development organization of Sikorsky Aircraft, Sikorsky Innovations has attracted some of the most prestigious aerospace and academic organizations in the world to join us as we tackle the toughest challenges in vertical flight and inject incredible new technologies into the industry,” said Chris Van Buiten, Vice President of Sikorsky Innovations. “Today, ITA becomes the newest valuable member of our network, as together we chart the path for inspiring and developing the next generation of engineers who will rewrite the future of rotorcraft.”

Press release issued by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company on February 12, 2015


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