Houlahan celebrates opening of Piasecki in Valley

Rep. Chrissy Houlahan at the Piasecki ribbon cutting ceremony.

On Wednesday, Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-6) celebrated the opening of Piasecki Aircraft Corporation (PiAC)’s new Heliplex facility in Coatesville. Houlahan had the opportunity to view several models of vertical lift aircraft manufactured by Piasecki and learn of others to be produced at the state-of-the-art research and development facility. The innovative site will be used for design, manufacturing, and flight testing of their Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft and the company’s PA-890 helicopter, the world’s first zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell rotorcraft. Production at the facility will begin later this year and Piasecki anticipates the factory will employ about 400 workers by 2028. This location was operated by Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky until early 2022.

Houlahan has been a staunch advocate for keeping aviation manufacturing at home in Chester County. In 2019, Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky announced it would close the Heliplex facility in Coatesville, but Houlahan, as well as President Donald Trump, called on Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky to keep hundreds of jobs alive for Southeastern Pennsylvanians. Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky responded to these requests by keeping the facility open, but eventually announced it would close the plant in March of 2022. Houlahan held a job fair in October 2021 in West Chester, PA for all residents of Chester and Berks Counties, but specifically aimed to assist those employed at the Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky Heliplex Facility to secure new jobs. Piasecki’s purchase and renovation of the Coatesville facility will allow this hub to continue innovating and bolster jobs for the community after its year-and-a-half long vacancy.

“Chester County is home to some of the most talented manufacturing and tech workforces in the country,” said 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 PA’s sixth district. These advancements have the potential to transform vertical lift flight and help eliminate carbon emissions. Piasecki’s Coatesville expansion will revitalize the manufacturing facilities which were formerly home to Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky Heliplex. I’m proud to support their vision and will continue to support innovations such as hydrogen fuel cell development through my work in Congress.”

“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 Piasecki CEO John Piasecki. “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.”


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