After 40 years of producing more than 4000 Sikorsky UH-60 BlackHawk and SH-60 SeaHawk helicopters for the United States Army, the United States Navy and many operators in foreign countries a significant development is taking place. The factory new build BlackHawk and SeaHawk helicopters have predominantly been painted with an olive drab green or a dull mat grey livery, but nowadays more and more very colourful Hawks start to appear in the sky.
These new colourful Hawks are former military EH-60A, UH-60A or HH-60L helicopters and are now designated FireHawk or UtilityHawk.
During August 2018 about 175 units of new and former military Hawk helicopters had been registered with the FAA civil aviation registry.
Also several brand new S-70i FireHawks are on order and being completed for delivery next year.
In a few years time about 20 units will be active in the State of California alone.
The main Hawk operaters are, or will be in the near future:
- Los Angeles County Fire Department.
- California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
- City of San Diego Fire Department.
- Brown Helicopter Inc.
- PJ Helicopters – Helibro LLC.
- Timberline Helicopters Inc.
- Unical Aviation Inc.
- Skydance Blackhawk Operations LLC.
- Santa Barbara County.
- Northwest Helicopters LLC.
- Rogerson Kratos.
- Brainerd Helicopters Inc.
- Sierrra Nevada Corporation.
- Arista Aviation.
- Ventura County Fire Protection District.
- Pacific Gas & Electric Company.
- Ace Aeronautics LLC – Global Aviation Solutions.
- StarFlight, Australia.
The first civilian operator of the FireHawk is the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Two units where ordered in 2000 and have been delivered in 2001 for a total $ 25 million. A third unit was delivered in 2005. In March 2019 another two units are due for delivery.
N160LA Sikorsky S-70A 702453 2001
N190LA Sikorsky S-70A 702479 2001
N15LA Sikorsky S-70A 702846 2005
N821LA Sikorsky S-70i 704023 2017 (ex N742SX, SP-YVI )
N822LA Sikorsky S-70i 704024 2017 (ex N743SX, SP-YVK)
The second FireHawk operator will be the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection or in short: CALFIRE. They have orderend 12 units of the S-70i model in December 2017. They will be delivered during a 5 year period and will cost $ 20 million per unit.
Nxx1DF 901 Sikorsky 70i 704030 (ex N746SX, SP-YVI )
Nxx2DF 902 Sikorsky 70i
N483DF 903 Sikorsky 70i
Nxx4DF 904 Sikorsky 70i
Nxx5DF 905 Sikorsky 70i
Nxx6DF 906 Sikorsky 70i
Nxx7DF 907 Sikorsky 70i
Nxx8DF 908 Sikorsky 70i
Nxx9DF 909 Sikorsky 70i
Nx10DF 910 Sikorsky 70i
Nx11DF 911 Sikorsky 70i
Nx12DF 912 Sikorsky 70i
The next FireHawk operator will be the City of San Diego Fire Department.
The contract was signed during the HAI Heli-Expo in February 2018. Delivery medio 2019.
N283SD Sikorsky S-70i 704025 (ex N744SX, SP-YVL)
Late July 2018 the Pacific Gas & Electric Company announced it had secured two former U.S. Army UH-60A heavy-lift helicopters as a part of the company’s new Community Wildfire Safety Program.
The newly added aircraft were secured through an exclusive use agreement with PJ Helicopters – Helibro LLC. PG&E plans to add two more heavy-lift helicopters in 2019.
In addition to supporting utility work, PG&E will defer its use to make the new Sikorsky UH-60 fleet available for first responder use, if needed and requested, during wildfires.
N603PG Sikorsky UH-60A, 70259 ex: 80-23501, N940AA
N604PG Sikorsky UH-60A, 70202 ex: 80-23444, N942AA
N605PG Sikorsky UH-60A, 70250 ex: 80-23492, N230AA
N606PG Sikorsky UH-60A, 70282 ex: 81-23561, N847AR
During August 2018 The Ventura County Fire Department announced the purchase of two former U.S. Army HH-60L helicopters, originally configured as dedicated medevac helicopters. These aircraft had been outfitted with the United Rotorcraft medical equipment and patient litter systems, some of which will be re-purposed in the new FireHawk configuration. Following a full maintenance inspection by United Rotorcraft, the aircraft will be painted at the United Rotorcraft Decatur, Texas, facility and modified at the company’s Englewood, Colorado, facility.
N60VC Sikorsky HH-60L 70xxxx ex: 03-26996
N70VC Sikorsky HH-60L 70xxxx ex: 05-27037
N80VC Sikorsky HH-60L 703007 ex: 06-27110
Ace Aeronautics LLC – Global Aviation Solutions, Huntsville, Alabama.
This company, founded by Darrell Kindley and Frank Wallace, is specialized in refurbishing and repainting airframes, upgrading analoge avionics to a digital cockpit, and engine and mission equipment upgrades.
|N60DK||Sikorsky||UH-60A||80-23455||ACE AERONAUTICS LLC|
|N60FW||Sikorsky||UH-60A||80-23439||ACE AERONAUTICS LLC|
PJ Helicopters & Helibro LLC, Red Bluff, California.
|N802PJ||79-23278||PJ HELICOPTERS INC|
|N803PJ||78-23007||PJ HELICOPTERS INC|
|N804PJ||78-22998||PJ HELICOPTERS INC|
|N805PJ||82-23704||PJ HELICOPTERS INC|
Santa Barbara County Air Operations.
In December 2018 the Santa Barbara County board of supervisors approved the purchase of a used Sikorsky HH-60L Black Hawk helicopter from the National Guard to be converted to FireHawk and used by the Fire Protection District.
N964SB Sikorsky HH-60L
Unical Aviation Inc. & Unical Defense Inc, City of Industry, California.
|N160AX||86-24520||UNICAL AVIATION INC|
|N160BF||83-23869||UNICAL AVIATION INC|
|N160BK||83-23887||UNICAL AVIATION INC|
|N160BL||88-26067||UNICAL AVIATION INC|
|N160BN||83-23881||UNICAL AVIATION INC|
|N160CE||82-23740||UNICAL AVIATION INC|
|N160CG||80-23483||UNICAL AVIATION INC|
|N160CJ||82-23688||UNICAL AVIATION INC|
|N160CN||84-23935||UNICAL AVIATION INC|
|N160CV||79-23327||UNICAL AVIATION INC|
|N166AG||81-23558||UNICAL AVIATION INC|
|N166AU||78-22989||UNICAL AVIATION INC|
|N166DE||81-23593||UNICAL AVIATION INC|
|N166DF||83-23877||UNICAL AVIATION INC|
|N166DQ||78-22986||UNICAL AVIATION INC|
|N160AU||82-23755||UNICAL DEFENSE INC|
|N160BQ||80-23499||UNICAL DEFENSE INC|
|N160CD||80-23507||UNICAL DEFENSE INC|
|N160CQ||82-23736||UNICAL DEFENSE INC|
|N160CU||80-23451||UNICAL DEFENSE INC|
|N160DN||79-23316||UNICAL DEFENSE INC|
|N160DP||80-23479||UNICAL DEFENSE INC|
|N160ET||83-23865||UNICAL DEFENSE INC|
|N160NT||83-23917||UNICAL DEFENSE INC|
|N166AQ||82-23757||UNICAL DEFENSE INC|
Timberline Helicopters Inc, Sandpoint, Idaho.
|N274TH||79-23274||TIMBERLINE HELICOPTERS INC|
|N290TH||79-23290||TIMBERLINE HELICOPTERS INC|
|N563DJ||81-23563||TIMBERLINE HELICOPTERS INC|
|N434TH||80-23434||TIMBERLINE HELICOPTERS INC|
|N620TJ||81-23620||TIMBERLINE HELICOPTERS INC|
Brown Helicopters LLC, Pensacola, Florida.
|N135BH||701825||BHH LEASING 1 LLC|
|N136BH||701835||BHH LEASING 2 LLC|
|N137BH||702127||BHH LEASING 3 LLC|
|N152BH||82-23667||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N153BH||79-23277||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N162BH||79-23313||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N179BH||79-23325||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N240BH||80-23496||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N277BH||78-22962||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N527HS||82-23710||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N527KB||79-23310||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N527NB||80-23442||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N530FZ||82-23735||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N530JS||80-23420||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N530LS||81-23550||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N530NW||78-22973||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N533HB||85-24394||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N533MB||82-23681||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N534WS||80-23419||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N534XS||79-23285||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N534YS||82-23692||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N5396Q||82-23698||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N5397F||79-23351||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N540BW||82-23715||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N540CK||82-23734||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N540HM||82-23693||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N540JS||79-23333||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N553ES||80-23417||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N562EB||80-23424||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N5773B||79-23319||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N5778B||79-23281||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N589FB||81-23608||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N594RA||81-23568||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N596YB||80-23452||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N646DB||79-23347||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N652MB||78-22994||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N652NH||82-23742||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N652PB||82-23732||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N679PK||82-23663||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N781HB||80-23506||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N781MB||77-22724||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N781PB||83-23842||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N781QB||80-23489||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N794XB||79-23369||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N794YB||78-22971||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N794ZB||79-23323||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N796ZB||79-23307||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N809XH||79-23340||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N987B||81-23572||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N995B||78-22977||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N553BS||83-23859||BHH LEASING # 4 LLC
|N681UB||84-24017||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N781TB||85-24476||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N802SB||87-24673||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N802TB||86-24568||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N809YB||84-24023||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N844YB||84-24019||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N848TK||84-24028||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N848UG||84-24024||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N849LF||87-24658||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N854PE||84-24026||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N854QB||85-24478||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N854RB||86-24563||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N854SE||86-24565||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N854UB||85-24467||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
|N854WB||87-24665||BROWN HELICOPTER INC|
Brainerd Helicopters Inc, Leesburg, Florida.
|N729XA||79-23288||BRAINERD HELICOPTERS INC|
|N809WB||87-24615||BRAINERD HELICOPTERS INC|
|N70K||83-23873 (70698)||BHI PRODUCTIONS LLC|
|N17FH||80-23469||BHI TWO LLC|
|N13FH||79-23353||BHI ONE LLC|
|N9FH||80-23461||BRAINERD HELICOPTERS INC|
Sikorsky Helitech, Kaan Air Australia and StarFlight Australia have signed an agreement, during July 2018, to bring an initial 10 former US Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters into Australia to be refurbished for use locally in aerial firefighting, emergency services and disaster relief operations.
Sikorsky Helitech will carry out the ‘as new’ condition refurbishments at its Pinkenba facility on the banks of the Brisbane River, south of Brisbane Airport, with the helicopters to be imported into Australia from early next year.
The Black Hawks will be operated by StarFlight Australia, which launched in April 2016, while Sikorsky Helitech will provide ongoing maintenance and repairs.
Each Black Hawk will undergo a three-month long extensive refurbishment which will include fitting new, higher-performing General Electric T700-GE-701D turboshaft engines, upgraded gearboxes and new avionics including a helicopter terrain awareness and warning system (HTAWS).
The agreement, announced in Brisbane on Thursday, is valued at up to $175 million when including an option to upgrade an additional 10 Black Hawks.
The factory new Hawks are correctly identified and registered with their Manufacturer Serial Number in the FAA Registry.
Unfortunately the previous military BlackHawks are registered with their former Military Serial Number which is not correct.