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Vector delivers S61 “Short” to Billings

March 10, 2009, Richmond, B.C. – Vector  has delivered a shortened and modified Sikorsky S61 helicopter to Billings Flying Services.


March 11, 2009
By Corrie


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March 10, 2009, Richmond, B.C. – Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services North America (Vector) the world’s largest independent provider of helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) has delivered a shortened and modified Sikorsky S61 helicopter to Billings Flying Services (Billings); a family-owned and operated company with a 20-year history in the aviation industry. The aircraft successfully underwent hover checks and test flights, and was handed over to Billings on March 4 th, 2009.

Al Blain, President of Billings says, “Billings Flying Service is very pleased with the quality of workmanship provided by Vector, and with the project coming in on budget, and ahead of schedule. The Vector team was great to work with over the entire scope of the project, and due to the exceptional job they performed, we know this modified S61 is going to be a valuable asset to our operations. Congratulations on a job well-done!" 

Phil Kemp, Vice President of Sales for Vector explains the modification process as follows: “Removal of the ‘plug’ (a fifty inch section of the main cabin fuselage behind the cockpit and forward o f the engine intakes) transforms the S-61 into a shorter helicopter; yielding a lower empty weight and resulting in increased external lifting capacity and enhanced flight performance.”  In addition to the plug removal, the modification process requires all engines, tail rotor and emergency throttle cables to be shortened and reinstalled; fluid lines are modified; internal aircraft wiring is changed and the primary flight controls are modified utilizing custom-designed, civil Parts Manufacture Approval (PMA) parts.  Kemp emphasizes the Vector team did a superb job, surpassing its own expectations by delivering the S61 more than two weeks ahead of schedule.

“Billings is a utility helicopter operator specializing in aerial fire suppression, seismic drill operations, construction lift work and helicopter charters at locations across the globe,” says Gerhart Blain, Vice President of Billings. “I am extremely pleased with the outcome of the S61 modification performed by Vector, and anticipate putting this helicopter back to work very soon.”

Vector Aerospace Corporation is an independent provider of aviation repairs and overhaul services. Through facilities in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, Vector provides services to commercial and military customers for various types of gas turbine engines, components and helicopter airframes.  It also provides information technology solutions to an international customer base.  Principal operations include Vector Aerospace Engine Services Atlantic (formerly Atlantic Turbines), Vector Aerospace Engine Services UK Limited (formerly Sigma Aerospace), Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services (formerly ACROHELIPRO Global Services), Vector Aerospace International Limited (rotary and component repair business of DARA acquired from the Ministry of Defense in the United Kingdom) and Pathix ASP.  The company has approximately 2,500 employees.


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