Sikorsky commissioned Orange County Choppers to design and build the motorcycle for use in the company's fund-raising campaign to benefit the community, while paying tribute to Sikorsky's work force and history of technological innovation. The motorcycle was unveiled to employees June 13 and features wheel spokes shaped like helicopter rotors, an instrument panel modeled after a helicopter panel, a likeness of company founder Igor Sikorsky, insignia representing the company's U.S. military customers, and many other unique design elements.
To research the design, an OCC crew toured Sikorsky on May 9 including the famed BLACK HAWK helicopter line. The motorcycle will now appear in a variety of charitable and other settings including at Sikorsky's annual Motorcycle Ride and Classic Car Show on Sept. 14, which is part of the company’s Community Giving Campaign to benefit both the United Way and Community Health Charities.
TLC airs the popular American Chopper TV reality series, which chronicles the lives of the OCC crew as they battle deadlines to create the custom choppers. The show, which has contributed to OCC's quick rise to fame, debuted in September 2002 on the Discovery Channel and in 2007 on TLC, which is the Discovery Channel's sister station.
TLC's Web site describes the July 10 episode in the following manner: "(Paul Teutul) Sr. recruits (a team) to build a tribute bike for the Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. But fabrication hits some turbulence as issues with the backbone and tank have the guys spinning out of control."
OCC started as a sideline to the Teutul family's steel manufacturing business, which was founded in the 1970s. Paul Teutul Sr. began building custom motorcycles as a hobby, and in 1999 he and his son Paul Jr. founded Orange County Choppers. Their first bike, "True Blue," debuted at the 1999 Daytona Biketoberfest. Now headquartered in Newburgh, N.Y., OCC is regarded as one of the world's premier builders of custom motorcycles.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture, and service. The company's long commitment to safety and innovation is reflected in its mission statement: "We pioneer flight solutions that bring people home everywhere ... every timeTM." United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.