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Sat, Dec 22, 2007

First Sikorsky FBW Helicopter Completes First Flight

H-92 First In Planned Series Of Fly-By-Wire Helos

The first H-92 helicopter to feature fly-by-wire technology has completed its first successful flight, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. announced Friday.

Company representatives tell ANN the historic first flight took place on December 20 at 0900 from the Sikorsky Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, FL. The new fly-by-wire technology is designed to significantly improve aircraft maneuverability, safety and effectiveness.

Sikorsky currently has two development programs which will feature the FBW technology -- the X-2 Technology demonstrator, and the newest variant of the Black Hawk line, the UH-60M.

"This successful flight of the first H-92 helicopter to feature state-of-the-art fly-by-wire technology ushers in a new era for the H-92 product line," said Stephen B. Estill, Sikorsky vice president & chief marketing officer. "This aircraft was the first of a new generation of helicopters designed to new and more demanding standards for safety and reliability, and with fly-by-wire, it sets course for the path ahead and the next phase of flight testing in 2008."

The fly-by-wire system electronically links the controls inside the cockpit with the exterior actuators, the movement of which enable the aircraft to maneuver where and how the pilot intends.

Eliminating the traditional mechanical linkage saves weight, reduces maintenance costs, adds capability and improves performance, according to Sikorsky. The new system was developed in association with BAE Systems.

FMI: www.sikorsky.com

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