The FAA has approved the Sikorsky S-92 for sea state 6 (SS6) conditions, meaning up to 20-foot waves. Thanks to additional sponson floats, the S-92’s emergency flotation system becomes the first one to be FAA certified for SS6, according to Sikorsky.
“This system was designed by the S-92 landing-gear design group, with close coordination with electrical and airframe design and structural analysis,” said Ben Del Monte, chief of propulsion/landing gear/mission systems.
The company tested the system, using a one-tenth scale model, at a U.S. Army facility in Maryland. Also tested was a large-sponson configuration, which met SS6 conditions with only the baseline three floats. When this option is developed, the extra buoyancy of the larger sponson will save the cost and weight of the additional sponson floats, Sikorsky said.
Late last year, AgustaWestland revealed it had also successfully tested, in Europe, an AW139 model to simulated SS6. The medium twin’s flight manual now refers to SS6. Some operators have pointed out that the regulation does not call for “irregular waves” to be tried.