The tour stop began when the aircraft approached FlightSafety in formation with two Oklahoma National Guard BLACK HAWKs and then landed on the company's front lawn before hundreds of employees and guests. Honored guests included Gov. Grad Henry, Sen. James Inhofe and U.S. Rep. John Sullivan, all of whom took demonstration flights aboard the aircraft.
"We produce the only FAA-approved helicopter flight safety simulators," said Derek Maeer, general manager of FlightSafety International Simulation Systems Division. "We are delighted to partner with Sikorsky as a member of the All-American helicopter team building the safest, most secure helicopter in the world."
Sikorsky Aircraft and FlightSafety are part of the VH-92 All-American team seeking to provide the next presidential helicopter. FlightSafety's Simulation Systems Division will design and manufacture the simulators, training systems and equipment for pilots and air crews. The actual pilot and crew training will take place at FlightSafety's West Palm Beach, Fla. facility.
Sikorsky's history with Marine One dates back to the Eisenhower administration. Sikorsky has served every President since then with three helicopter models and the VH-92 will build on this experience.
"We have an aircraft that is unmatched in safety and performance, and a great All-American team to bring it all together," said Joseph Haddock, Sikorsky's vice president for government business development. "In today's environment, safety and security of the president is more important than ever, and we have just the team in place to make sure those needs are fully met."
In January 2004 Sikorsky partnered with six U.S.-based companies on the VH-92 All-American Team to respond to the Navy's Request for Proposal for the VXX competition, the designation for the procurement of presidential helicopters.
FlightSafety Simulation, a division of FlightSafety International is a major supplier of flight training systems to the business aviation community, the regional airliner operators of the world and the United States military establishment. The company is a participant in the recently awarded Flight School XXI helicopter training program of the U.S.Army. The Tulsa-based organization designed and built the first helicopter certificated by the FAA at Level "D" in 1999.
Other All-American members include; L-3 Communications Integrated Systems in Greenville, Tex. (mission communications equipment and aircraft interior furnishings); Northrop Grumman in Rolling Meadows, Ill. and San Jose, Calif. (aircraft survivability equipment); Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (major cockpit systems); Vought Aircraft Industries in Dallas (integrated aerostructures); and General Electric Aircraft Engines in Lynn, Mass.
On July 12 Sikorsky launched the All American VH-92 tour at the company's Stratford, Conn. headquarters to showcase the aircraft at its partner facilities and other locations. FlightSafety International Simulation Systems Division is the eighth stop in the multi-state tour.
Highlight footage from each All-American Tour event is available here.
Flight Safety International is the world's largest provider of aviation training services, training more than 70,000 aviation personnel annually at 40 learning centers worldwide. The company trains members of every branch of the U.S. military, including the presidential flight detachment, utilizing both military-specific aircraft and military variants of civilian aircraft. The company is the largest stimulator manufacturer in the United States and has built over 42 different types in the last five years alone.