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Friday, June 1, 2007

Rotorcraft Report: Erickson Eyes MRO, Engineering Work

SERVICES/MAINTENANCE

Erickson Air-Crane is broadening its horizons. The Central Point, Ore-based company is offering its expertise developed in managing conversion of Sikorsky Aircraft CH-54s to its own S-64 configuration to manufacturers needing engineering, prototyping, and production support.

As a manufacturer and operator of aircraft, Erickson has a unique perspective on the demands and shortcomings of the supply chain, said Rick Fraenkel, vice president of plant operations.

The company in the past has supported production of other aircraft, including the S-61 and SH-3, the Kaman K-Max, the Bell Helicopter 204, 205, and 206, and the MD Helicopters MD-500. It now wants to expand that part of its business, but in a controlled manner.

"We’re going to start out small, bringing in work as we can support it," Fraenkel told Rotor & Wing.

Erickson purchased the S-64 type certificate in 1992. A certificated repair station, its aircraft and component overhaul and repair facilities led to the company obtain an FAA production certificate. Its manufacturing endeavor started with the complete conversion of a CH-54B to the world’s first standard-category S-64F in 1993. Since then, it has converted 15 -54As to S-64Es and eight -54Bs to S-64Fs for its own fleet.

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