Erickson Today

Erickson Inc. has a fleet of more than 70 aircraft that operate around the world. Our blazing orange S-64 Air Crane® helicopters are a beacon of hope in the sky when wildfires break out. Our reliable crews are a welcome sign of relief to military units. And our Aerosystems facilities are half hospital for legacy aircraft and half laboratory where the aerial innovations of tomorrow are born. Our portfolio is comprised of 30% O&G, 20% firefighting, 20% commercial, and 30% defense, and can fluctuate in size to meet the needs of companies and governments around the globe. Our next innovations in the works include fully autonomous flights to reduce risks to crews, and night firefighting because fire never sleeps.

We’re proud of where we are today, and that’s all thanks to the journey we’ve taken so far. Read our timeline below of innovations and doing what it takes to get the job done.

1945

First Helicopter Hoist

The entire premise of our services, using helicopters to move things and rescue people, was made possible by an airlift rescue off a grounded oil barge off Fairfield with a Sikorsky R-5 craft.

1960

Evergreen airlines founded

Evergreen Airlines was founded by Del Smith, who provided support to the SpecOps community and used his experience to cater services to the national defense industry.

1969

Helicopter timber harvesting Pilot program

Jack Erickson leased an S-61 from Wes Lamata (now Columbia Helicopter) to create a pilot program with the United States Forest Service (USFS). They tested and proved the feasibility of helicopters yarding cut timber from mountain timber harvesting operations.

1971

“Erickson air-crane” founded

Bolstered by his pilot program’s success, Jack Erickson founded Erickson Air-Crane. He pioneered heli-logging techniques and expanded into powerline construction and firefighting. The work at this time required ground crews to wrap cables around fallen timber and hook them to the aircraft long line. Over the next couple of years, he purchased three S-64E from Sikorsky Aircraft Co.

1973

Intercity Hvac Capabilities

Erickson saw a greater opportunity to serve in intercity construction applications, airlifting HVAC units for removal and replacement in congested areas with high-rise buildings.

1974

ANTI-ROTATION DEVICE INVENTED

Erickson invented this device to stabilize loads, improving the HVAC service performance, and granting finesse which allowed the company to enter into building powerline towers.

1975

“SHOCK & PENDANT” INVENTED

This device, used for long line timber harvesting operations, decouples the load from the aircraft, eliminating the inherent low frequency vibrations from the rotor system and dampening the effects of cable stretch.

1992

ERICKSON BECOMES S-64 OEM & IP-HOLDER

Erickson purchased the rights to the S-64 from Sikorsky Aircraft, became the sole manufacturer and type certificate holder, and dubbed it the S-64 Air Crane® aircraft. The first production F-model rolled off the production line at the Erickson facility in Central Point, Oregon.