It’s well known that United Technologies is looking to sell off its Sikorsky Aircraft. The company is a gem in need of just a little polishing but in order to make an outright purchase work, Sikorsky needs to garner $13B a tough nut to crack given the company’s annual sales of $7.4B. There’s been some speculation about a Textron merger, which could be accomplished via a Reverse Morris Trust, but in order to escape tax consequences, Sikorsky needs a higher valuation or Textron a smaller valuation and those mechanics may prove difficult to implement.
Setting aside the many business technicalities, Sikorsky’s S-97 Raider could be the key to making things happen on the business side. I had a great opportunity at this year’s SOFIC conference, in Tampa, to discuss the S-97’s characteristics. The Raider features a coaxial rotor assembly and a pusher propeller aft to achieve its 200+ knots cruising speed. The raider has an endurance of more than 2.7 hours and can transport 6 and/or be configured for close ground support. I can only summarize the S-97 Raider capabilities as revolutionary. The company’s first prototype completed its maiden flight this past Friday, 22 May 2015, at the West Palm Beach facility.