Partnership to Deliver Heavy-Lift Tandem Rotorcraft

Piasecki Aircraft Corporation and Columbia Helicopters will upgrade existing Model 107-II helicopters to a new, more fuel-efficient, powerful and robust Columbia Model CHI-107-III configuration By Abi Wylie / 08 Jul 2024
Partnership to Deliver Heavy-Lift Tandem Rotorcraft
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Piasecki Aircraft Corporation and Columbia Helicopters have formed a strategic collaboration to deliver upgraded heavy-lift helicopters worldwide.

The collaboration will upgrade existing Model 107-II helicopters to a new, more fuel-efficient, powerful and robust Columbia Model CHI-107-III configuration. This partnership supports customers in essential services such as emergency response, aerial firefighting, forestry, infrastructure, and defense. 

The military variant of the Model 107-II is the CH-46E Sea Knight (Phrog), which served with the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy, as well as allies in Sweden and Japan.

Piasecki is a global leader in advanced Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft development, while Columbia Helicopters is a tandem rotor helicopter OEM, MRO, and operator. 

Modifications and testing will take place at Piasecki’s 219,000-square-foot heliplex facility in Coatesville, Pennsylvania – acquired in 2023 from Lockheed Martin Sikorsky after the S-76 and S-92 helicopter production lines at the site were closed and hundreds of jobs were lost. 

Piasecki’s acquisition of the facility was championed by Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, Representative Chrissy Houlahan (PA-6), Governor Josh Shapiro, and the Chester County Economic Development Council to create new jobs that leverage the unique aerospace skills in the region.

The Heliplex will also serve as CHI’s new field site, expanding opportunities on the East Coast. The partnership covers the development of comprehensive product support plans for the Columbia Model CHI-107-III – including establishing an FAA Part 145 Repair Station at the facility.

John Piasecki, CEO of Piasecki Aircraft, commented; “We are thrilled to partner with Columbia Helicopters, a company that shares our heritage with the tandem helicopter, and our commitment to innovation and excellence in the rotorcraft industry. 

“This collaboration represents a significant step forward in the evolution of tandem rotor helicopters and promises to deliver enhanced capabilities to a wide range of military and civil applications. We look forward to working together to advance the future of this vertical lift technology and generate hundreds of jobs for our communities.”

David Balevic, CEO of Columbia Helicopters, added; “The new Columbia Model 107-III will transform the heavy-lift helicopter market, providing unrivaled performance and versatility for our customers. 

“We are dedicated to pushing the boundaries of what is possible, and together with our partners at Piasecki, will deliver enhanced heavy-lift aircraft that save lives, protect nations, and build industries for decades to come.”

Posted by Abi Wylie Connect & Contact
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