Lockheed Martin‘s Sikorsky subsidiary received a special airworthiness certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration permitting the sale of a Black Hawk helicopter variant for limited civil and commercial operations.
The FAA certification allows non-military customers to acquire the S-70M straight from factory and use the aircraft in agricultural, external cargo and forest and wildlife conservation efforts, Lockheed said Tuesday.
S-70M, a third-generation Black Hawk model produced by Lockheed-owned PZL Mielec in Poland, features a digital cockpit, General Electric 701D engines and wide-chord rotor blades.
Energy company San Diego Gas & Electric became the first customer to receive Sikorsky’s restricted category helicopter and intends to modify the aircraft to carry and deploy water on wildland fires.
FlightSafety is awaiting Part 142 approval from the FAA to help train future S-70M pilots.
Jason Lambert, vice president of global commercial and military systems at Sikorsky, said the business is looking to discuss the potential civil use of its new helicopter to foreign aviation authorities.