Sikorsky expects the FAA to certify a higher mtow for its S-92 medium-twin helicopter this fall. The maximum allowable takeoff gross weight of the aircraft is being increased from 26,500 to 27,700 pounds, thus allowing operators to carry an additional 1,200 pounds of payload.
“In general, we expect our customers will use that payload to carry an increased combination of fuel and/or passengers,” Sikorsky director of commercial systems and services for platforms Dan Hunter told AIN. Although the new mtow is primarily a change to published limits and supporting data, there will be minor changes to the airframe, he said. EASA and Transport Canada certifications are anticipated to follow several months after the FAA approval.
The “expanded gross weight” capability is planned to be offered as an option. It is retrofittable to all in-service S-92s, and Sikorsky is in the process of establishing pricing, Hunter said. In February, archrival Airbus Helicopters announced a new version of the competing EC225, the EC225e, with an additional 1,200 pounds of payload.