The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has issued a validation type certificate for Sikorsky Aircraft’s S-76D helicopter, allowing the U.S. manufacturer to begin deliveries to Chinese customers. The move, announced on Monday at ABACE 2014 in Shanghai, follows the earlier CAAC validation of the S-76A and S-76C models. More than 30 of the twin-engine Sikorsky S-76 aircraft currently operate in China.
Yunnan Jingcheng Group will be the first company in China to take delivery of an S-76D, scheduled for delivery this month. The company currently operates a larger S-92 and has also purchased a second S-92, scheduled for delivery in November 2015. The S-76D helicopter has a current worldwide backlog exceeding $650 million, according to Sikorsky, which is part of the United Technologies group.
The S-76D is powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210S engines. It is also equipped with the Thales TopDeck avionics suite, a four-axis autopilot, a health usage and monitoring system, active vibration control, and all-composite, flaw-tolerant main rotor blades. A rotor protection system for all-weather capability is available as an option.
In September 2013, Sikorsky signed an agreement with China’s Changhe Aircraft Industries Corp calling for local production of S-76D cabins. Changhe serves as a second source of the cabins and is due to start deliveries in 2016.