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Sikorsky to start China production of S-76D cabins

US helicopter maker Sikorsky Aircraft and China-based aerostructures maker Changhe Aircraft Industries Corp said they signed an agreement for Changhe to produce S-76D commercial helicopter cabins for Sikorsky.

Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp (NYSE: UTX).

The agreement was signed during the China Helicopter Exposition, with chairman Yu Feng, Changhe Aircraft Industry Group Co., Ltd., and senior vice president, Operations, Shane Eddy representing Sikorsky Aircraft, the firms said.

Sikorsky´s S-76D helicopter is the firm´s newest aircraft. Changhe had previously provided cabins for the predecessor S-76C++ helicopter, under an agreement signed by the two companies in 2007.

Under the new deal, Changhe will now serve as a second source for S-76D cabins, with deliveries scheduled to begin in 2016 and production volume based on market demand. Aerodochody in the Czech Republic also supplies the cabins.

Changhe Aircraft Industries Corp. is a subsidiary of China´s AVIC, which is a shareholder in the Shanghai Sikorsky civil aerospace joint venture company. Sikorsky has enjoyed a long business relationship with AVIC dating back more than a decade to the development and production of the S-92 commercial helicopter.

The S-76D helicopter received FAA certification in 2012 and is the latest in the family of popular Sikorsky´s S-76 helicopters. More than 800 S-76 helicopters in the global fleet have accumulated 6.2m flight hours during three decades of operation.

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