Rotorcraft Update: British-built controls for Marine One?

 - July 30, 2008, 10:48 AM

In an apparent effort to assuage British pressure to adopt the Anglo-Italian EH-101 as the follow-on to the White House’s aged fleet of Sikorsky VH-3S operated as Marine One for Presidential transport, Sikorsky has quietly agreed to add some British content to the S-92s it would modify for that mission.

The addition would be a one-of-a-kind modification of the S-92 specifically for the Presidential transport mission, according to sources within Sikorsky. First evidence of the plan has emerged in the form of a contract to Platform Solutions of Westover, N.Y., calling for replacement of the S-92’s existing pushrod and cable system with a fly-by-wire control network. Platform Solutions is a subsidiary of UK-based BAE Systems. Timing of the deal would make the system available in S-92s produced no earlier than 2007. The helicopters proposed to serve the White House and federal VIP transport program would be of the more powerful military H-92 variant, equipped with the GE CT7-8C turboshaft, providing 25-percent more power than the civil-edition 2,050-shp (max continuous) CT7-8A it is replacing. H-92s thus equipped will be known as Superhawks.