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Sikorsky Aircraft unveils enhancements for S-92® helicopter and updates progress of S-76D™ helicopter program

Increased maximum gross weight capability and advancements in automation for offshore navigation are among the enhancements Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. has planned in the near future for its S-92® helicopter, the company announced today at the biannual Helitech exhibition. Sikorsky Aircraft is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).

Marc Poland, Vice President of Sikorsky Global Helicopters, delivered a press briefing to outline Sikorsky's plans for its commercial helicopter programs, which include the S-434™, S-300C™, S-92, H-92™ and S-76® helicopters.  

Among the key improvements being planned for the S-92 helicopter are:

• Increased maximum gross weight from 26,500 pounds to above 27,000 pounds

• Improvements to the durability of the main gear box

• Limited icing certification

• A fully coupled and automated approach capability that will allow pilots to approach offshore platforms with greater safety and lower minimums.   

"Sikorsky remains committed to improving reliability and operability, and these enhancements for the S-92 helicopter are the result of that commitment," Poland said. "We continue to grow our products with a focus on customer satisfaction, safety and dedication to the innovative philosophy that has been the hallmark of Sikorsky Aircraft."

Poland said further improvements to the Rotor Ice Protection System have been deployed and are the result of steady work on the system since the 2009 icing season. "We have worked hard to significantly improve the reliability and maintainability of all RIPS components and sub-systems," he said.   

Sikorsky's S-76D helicopter, the next generation model in the S-76 helicopter series, also is continuing its flight envelope expansion, with more than 40 flight hours logged. 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+™ and S-76C++™ aircraft currently fielded.

Other highlights noted by Poland:

• The S-76D prototype D1 is in active flight test with prototype D2 in final check-out, preparing for flight in October. Build-up of a third prototype is under way at Sikorsky Global Helicopters' Coatesville, Penn., facility, with anticipated delivery to the flight test center in Q4.

• The S-434 helicopter produced by the Light Helicopter division of Sikorsky Global Helicopters is flying and pursuing FAA certification

• The first production CH-148 helicopter, being developed for Canada's Maritime Helicopter Program, is flying and scheduled to begin sea trials later this year

Press release issued by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company on September 23, 2009


 Contact details from our directory:
Sikorsky Global Helicopters, Light Helicopter Division Airframer
Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company Airframer


 Related aircraft programs:
Sikorsky S-92
Sikorsky S-76

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