The Avincis group, known under its Bond, Inaer, Australian Helicopters and Norsk Helikopterservice brands, has taken delivery of the first of the 16 new Sikorsky S-92s it ordered in December 2011, the largest single purchase of the type. Norsk accepted the first medium twin and will operate it, along with the second one, for Bond customers in the UK North Sea sector. Milestone Aviation Group is financing the first four S-92s.
Avincis Group has taken delivery of the first of its record order of 16 new Sikorsky S-92s. The order, placed in December 2011, is the largest single purchase of S-92s ever made, according to the UK-based operator. The Avincis fleet is expected to provide offshore oil and gas worker transportation and serve in a search-and-rescue role.
Offshore oil and gas helicopter service provider Bristow has secured new contracts for 20 large aircraft that it expects will generate more than $2 billion in revenue. The deals are a combination of new contracts and extensions of current ones in Australia, Brazil and Europe for Sikorsky S-92s and Eurocopter EC225s.
Sikorsky delivered three S-92s to the Royal Thai Air Force outfitted for head-of-state missions. Crew training started at Lop Buri Air Base, for an expected duration of six months. One of the aircraft features the first installation of a LifePort medical kit in an S-92.
Bristow Group extended an existing North Sea contract with the Integrated Aviation Consortium for six Sikorsky S-92s and inked a new deal covering four more S-92s in Norway with Statoil. The deals are worth more than $1.3 billion.
Examination of wreckage from the March 12 crash of a Cougar Helicopters S-92 prompted manufacturer Sikorsky to recommend the grounding of all S-92s last Friday unless their titanium main gearbox oil bowl mounting studs had already been replaced with steel ones.
Offshore operators PHI and Norsk each reached 20,000 hours late last year with their Sikorsky S-92s. PHI, based in Lafayette, La., currently operates 10
S-92s. Norsk, based in Stavanger, Norway, services the North Sea oil industry and reports logging between 150 and 200 hours monthly in each of its S-92s.
CHC Helicopter has ordered 12 Sikorsky S-92s and 13 AgustaWestland AW139s. The contracts are worth nearly $400 million. CHC plans to use the S-92s for offshore support and commercial search-and-rescue operations. Delivery of S-92s under the new order is scheduled to begin in 2009. AgustaWestland values CHC’s latest AW139 order at “approximately $140 million.” CHC plans to use the AW139s for offshore support and EMS missions.
Sikorsky Aircraft has successfully ground tested fly-by-wire (FBW) technology that will debut on 28 H-92s slated for delivery in 2009 to Canadian military forces. The H-92 is the military variant of the S-92. Sikorsky partnered with BAE Systems to develop the FBW system.
Houston-based Bristow has exercised options to acquire four more Sikorsky S-92s. As part of the agreement, an earlier order for nine S-76s has been converted to options on the smaller rotorcraft. In addition, Bristow has taken options on 10 more S-92s, bringing the total number of options for this model to 14. –Thierry Dubois
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