Please click here to view the VH-92 Presidential tour stop at Vought Aircraft Industries.
The VH-92 All-American Tour touched down in the heart of Texas today and received an enthusiastic welcome from more than 1,000 employees and guests at Vought Aircraft Industries
Sikorsky and Vought are part of the VH-92 All-American team bidding to provide the next presidential helicopter. Vought is slated to build the entire air vehicle structure for the VH-92, from the cockpit to the tail rotor.
"It is an honor for Vought to be a member of the VH-92 All-American team," said Vought President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Risley. "Our skilled employees are poised and ready to help build the world's most advanced helicopter.".
Vought, which employs approximately 3,300 people in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, could add up to 100 more employees if the Sikorsky VH-92 is chosen to become the next "Marine One" helicopter.
"We assembled the VH-92 All-American Team with U.S. based aerospace companies that are the best at what they do," said Joseph Haddock, Sikorsky's vice president for business development. "Vought Aircraft Industries is a world-class airframe manufacturer and a great addition to the team.".
Vought employees lined up by the hundreds to view the aircraft on static display and watch it take off from the landing area newly painted with the blue-and-white Vought company logo. Dozens of employees broke out in spontaneous applause and waved to the aircraft as it went wheels up during the first media and VIP demonstration flight of the afternoon.
The event drew local network television affiliates from NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, WB and Telemundo. Two local television news helicopters circled overhead gathering footage of the VH-92 demonstrator during take-offs and landings.
The event was held in a newly refurbished building where Vought will build structures for the presidential aircraft. Employees and guests were treated to an "All-American" lunch of hot dogs, apple turnovers and potato chips.
Vought is the first scheduled stop in Texas for the All-American Tour. Upcoming visits are planned at L-3 Communications Integrated Systems, headquartered in Greenville, Texas, which will provide mission communications systems and the aircraft interior furnishings for the VH-92.
Sikorsky and Vought share a common heritage in the helicopter industry. In 1939, the two entities were merged and called the Vought-Sikorsky Aircraft Division of United Aircraft Corp. (based in Stratford, Conn.). In September 1939, Igor Sikorsky made his initial flight with the first successful single-main-rotor helicopter - the Vought-Sikorsky VS-300, the predecessor to the R-4, the world's first production helicopter.
In 1942, Vought and Sikorsky were separated back into two different divisions of United Aircraft. Vought's efforts were directed toward combat aircraft, while Sikorsky's efforts were directed toward helicopters. In 1948, the Chance Vought Division of United Aircraft began the move from Stratford, Conn., to Dallas, relocating 1,500 employees - the largest industrial move in the nation's history at that time.
Vought Aircraft Industries, Inc. (www.voughtaircraft.com) is one of the world's largest independent suppliers of aerostructures. Headquartered in Dallas, the company designs and manufactures major airframe structures such as wings, fuselage subassemblies, empennages, nacelles and other components for prime manufacturers of aircraft. Vought has annual sales of approximately $1.2 billion and more than 6,000 employees in seven U.S. locations.