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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Rotorcraft Report: Sikorsky Kills Schweizer Brand


The Schweizer helicopter brand is no more. As of February 22, 2009, the respected maker of small helicopters that was purchased by Sikorsky in 2004 has seen its identity subsumed into Sikorsky Global Helicopters. As announced at Heli-Expo 2009, the new Sikorsky Global Helicopters brand integrates Schweizer and Sikorsky helicopters into a single product line. There will be new names to remember. On the small end of the market are the former Schweizer/now Sikorsky S-300c, S-300CBi, S-333 and the new S-434 helicopters; moving up to the S-76, S-92 and H-92 products from Sikorsky’s own stable. Also under the Sikorsky Global helicopters moniker are services provided by the former Associated Aircraft Group (AAG) and Keystone Helicopter Corporation, both of which now belong to Sikorsky.

"We want to make sure that our brand is clear to our customers," explained Carey Bond, Sikorsky VP and chief marketing officer, during a session at Heli-Expo 2009. While he acknowledged that the Schweizer nameplate had "tremendous brand recognition," Bond said the Sikorsky brand "is equally as strong." As a result, Sikorsky does not fear any sales loss due to brand confusion on the part of potential customers.

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