FAA issues certificate of airworthiness for first type certified S-70M Black Hawk helicopter

The first-of-type S-70M Black Hawk helicopter departs from the Sikorsky Training Academy in Florida Nov. 18, having received the FAA’s certificate of airworthiness

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has completed its certification of the S-70M Black Hawk helicopter — a new type designation — by issuing Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company a restricted category special airworthiness certificate. FAA certification and the establishment of a pilot type rating, are expected to broaden the market for the military-designed helicopter by allowing civil and commercial operators in the United States to purchase new Black Hawk aircraft direct from the factory.

California public utility San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) took delivery of the first S-70M restricted category aircraft on November 18, at the Sikorsky Training Academy in Stuart, Florida. SDG&E will modify the aircraft to the Firehawk® configuration at United Rotorcraft, a division of Air Methods in Colorado. By 2023, the aircraft will be ready to drop water onto wild land fires with high-accuracy from its 3,785-litre (1,000-gallon) external tank.

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