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Flight test program enters high gear for Sikorsky S-76D(TM) helicopter

Two more prototypes are poised to join the S-76D(TM) helicopter test program as Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. continues envelope expansion on the newest version of the popular S-76(R) helicopter. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).

Since the D1 prototype's first flight on Feb. 7, 2009, the program has achieved additional "firsts," including raising the landing gear and flying at various speeds, conducting maneuvers, and flying with different loads, as the program studies the prototype's performance. The new rotor blades have also flown to 155 knots on an S-76C(TM) flight test helicopter.

"We are getting ready to transition to a full 'D' aircraft with all components, so the program is truly reaching a new peak in terms of testing the boundaries of what this aircraft can do," said Jason Durno, S-76D Program Manager. A

s of May 21st, 2009, the program had achieved 120 knots of forward flight and 25-degree bank turns. The testing has also verified the performance and vibration characteristics of the new main rotor blades.

"We're exceeding our performance predictions," said Mark Miller, Sikorsky Vice President of Research & Engineering. "With the next two prototypes joining the program, we will be able to accelerate our flight testing to move us closer to completion of the first production aircraft."

Aero Vodochody in the Czech Republic is currently building the first production aircraft. It is expected to be delivered to Sikorsky later this year.

Among the S-76D helicopter's features are all-composite, flaw-tolerant main rotor blades; an advanced Thales avionics system and autopilot; dual speed rotor with active vibration control; powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada 210S engines; a quiet mode for enhanced public acceptance; and an optional Rotor Ice Protection System (RIPS) for all-weather capability. The S-76D helicopter also will offer an increase in useful load and extended range performance versus the S-76C+(TM) and S-76C++(TM) aircraft currently fielded.

The S-76D helicopter is scheduled to enter production with certification, and customer deliveries in 2010. Sikorsky has approximately 100 delivery position agreements on the aircraft.

Press release issued by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company on June 17, 2009


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Aero Vodochody Aerospace a.s. Airframer
Pratt & Whitney Canada Turboshaft Engines, Turboprop Engines, Auxiliary Power Units, Turbofan Engines, Compressors, Engine Parts
Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company Airframer


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Sikorsky S-76


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