Former Sikorsky Heliplex in Coatesville Acquired by Delco-Based Piasecki Aircraft Corporation

Piasecki Aircraft Corporation
Image via Endré Communications.
The Piasecki Aircraft Corporation's newly acquired facility in Coatesville is expected to attract about 400 workers by 2028.

Essington-based Piasecki Aircraft Corporation (PiAC), a pioneer in advanced rotorcraft technology, has acquired the former Lockheed Martin Sikorsky Heliplex facility in Coatesville.

PiAC will transform the 219,000-square-foot facility into an advanced R&D center for next-generation Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), and related enabling technologies. Notably, the company’s forthcoming PA-890 helicopter, the world’s first zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell rotorcraft, will be built and tested there.

The facility — which includes engineering development, aircraft assembly, paint and finishing facilities, and a well-equipped production flight test and delivery center — will open its doors to employees in the fall and is expected to attract about 400 workers by 2028.

“This world-class facility will serve as a strong foundation for future growth and will enable us to expand our R&D and production capabilities as we deliver transformational vertical lift technologies to the defense and commercial markets,” said John Piasecki, CEO of PiAC.

“We chose to expand our development capabilities in the Delaware Valley because of its deep roots within the helicopter industry, its highly-talented workforce, and its robust supplier network. PiAC is committed to creating local jobs by fostering cutting-edge innovation, and we’re excited to support a community that has long prided itself on delivering aviation excellence.”

Chester County is home to some of the most talented manufacturing and tech workforces in the country,” said U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan. “Piasecki’s expansion into Coatesville is further testament to what many of us have known for years — Chester County is a great place to grow your business. It’s incredibly exciting to see a company like Piasecki, a long-time aviation industry innovator, continue their commitment to developing new technologies like the PA-890 hydrogen fuel cell-powered helicopter right here in Pennsylvania’s Sixth District. These advancements have the potential to transform vertical lift flight and help eliminate carbon emissions.” 

According to Piasecki, 2023 marks 80 years of PiAC innovation in vertical flight, a legacy that began in 1943 with the PV-2, the second successful helicopter to fly in America, now on display at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. Shortly after, PiAC developed the world’s first tandem rotor helicopter — a revolutionary design that has been instrumental in countless life-saving missions around the globe since World War II — and which lives on in Boeing’s CH-47 Chinook helicopters.

“PiAC is building on this legacy with a truly groundbreaking vertical lift technology portfolio, including advanced digital flight control and flight automation technology, hydrogen fuel cell and hybrid propulsion systems, morphing aerostructures, and more,” said Piasecki. “We work closely with partners in government, academia, and industry to advance these technologies and develop platform and system-level air vehicle integrations as well as conduct flight tests.”

Learn more about Piasecki Aircraft Corporation.


Piasecki Aircraft Corporation held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate its acquisition, as well as its 80 years in vertical flight.

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