Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation (Stratford, CT) announced today that it delivered its first fully configured S-76D helicopter, the latest in the long and highly successful Sikorsky S-76 commercial aircraft family, to the Bristow Group Inc. in December. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation.
The delivery follows an announcement in March 2013 that Bristow would acquire up to 26 S-76D helicopters to transport oil rig workers to and from offshore platforms.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved the Type Certificate for the baseline S-76D aircraft in October 2012. In the ensuing year, the Sikorsky Flight Test program expanded certifications. The S-76D helicopter achieved FAA certification for offshore oil operations on Oct. 31, enabling Sikorsky to deliver completed aircraft for that mission. This certification increases the S-76D helicopter’s maximum gross weight to 11,875 pounds and allows up to 12 passengers for operations in the offshore oil configuration. The S-76D helicopter also received an expanded baseline certification, allowing the aircraft to operate in a wider range of environments.
The S-76D helicopter has quickly proven popular with customers, with a current backlog exceeding $700 million. Sikorsky has delivered more than 800 S-76 helicopters to customers globally since 1979, contributing daily to a growing 6-million-plus fleet flight hour total.
The S-76D helicopter’s baseline equipment includes powerful and efficient Pratt & Whitney CanadaPW210S engines; an advanced THALES TopDeck ® integrated avionics system and four-axis autopilot; Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) incorporated into fleet monitoring and analysis through Sikorsky Aerospace Services; active vibration control; and all-composite, flaw-tolerant main rotor blades. A Rotor Ice Protection System (RIPS) for all-weather capability will be available as an option.
Bristow Group Inc., which currently operates more than 100 Sikorsky helicopters, is the leading provider of helicopter services to the worldwide offshore energy industry based on the number of aircraft operated and one of two helicopter service providers to the offshore energy industry with global operations. Bristow has major transportation operations in the North Sea, Nigeria and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and in most of the other major offshore oil and gas producing regions of the world, including Australia, Brazil, Canada,Russia and Trinidad.
Copyright Photo: Sikorsky.