Broken Arrow's Flight Safety hoping for good news from the US Navy

Wednesday, August 25th 2004, 10:12 am
By: News On 6

Tulsa and Broken Arrow residents saw an unusual sight in the sky Wednesday. It was the helicopter a Broken Arrow company hopes will beat out the competition for a big project.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says it wasn't the president coming in, but one day he could be flying in one of them, a Sikorsky VH-92.

It landed at Flight Safety, the Broken Arrow company that builds the simulator for the helicopter.

The crews that fly the president would train on equipment built in Broken Arrow. Flight Safety could get a contract worth at least $10-million. But first - the government has to choose which helicopter - either the Sikorsky model or one built by Lockheed Martin - the US 101.

Both companies claim their helicopter is more American made and safer than the competitor. But only Sikorsky has a confirmed Oklahoma sub-contractor. That's enough to get the state's politicians on-board.

Sikorsky executives claim their company's history of building Marine One should make them the favorite. There are only 3 of these helicopters flying - and if it's picked, it would take 4 years to build another one suitable for the president.

Simulators would play a key role in training. Flight Safety will get the job only if Sikorsky gets the contract. The Navy plans to announce the winner in December.

Lockheed Martin says it will have some Oklahoma contractors for their helicopter - but can't name them yet.