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Sikorsky Aircraft developing optionally piloted Black Hawk demonstrator helicopter

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. is collaborating with the U.S. Army to develop an optionally piloted demonstrator Black Hawk helicopter, the company announced today from the AAAA Annual Convention. Sikorsky Aircraft is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX)

Sikorsky Innovations, Sikorsky Aircraft's technology organization, is leading the development program. It plans to fly the optionally piloted demonstrator aircraft this year, and is targeting introducing the optionally piloted aircraft in 2015.

"This technology will provide commanders with manning options based on the mission and tactical situation, and will significantly reduce crew limitations while increasing Black Hawk helicopter flight operations," said Chris Van Buiten Director of Sikorsky Innovations.

The U.S. Army's total Black Hawk helicopter fleet exceeds 1,740 aircraft and has amassed six million flight hours. More than 3,000 Black Hawk helicopters are in use today, operating in 27 different countries. Designed to stringent U.S. Military standards, the Black Hawk helicopter has become the leader in multi-mission-type aircraft. Among the mission configurations it serves are troop transport, medical evacuation, attack, assault support and special operations.

Sikorsky Innovations is an agile, networked group of Sikorsky employees and industry teammates dedicated to demonstrating innovative technology solutions to the toughest problems in vertical flight. Sikorsky Innovations is pursuing a broad range of advanced technologies, including X2 high-speed helicopter technology, aware and adaptive aircraft systems and optionally piloted aircraft.

Press release issued by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company on April 16, 2010


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Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company Airframer

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