According to Stratford, Conn.-based Sikorsky, two more S-76D prototypes will soon join the helicopter test program, which is expected to conclude next year with certification and first deliveries. Meanwhile, the company said last week at the Paris Air Show that it is continuing envelope expansion on the first prototype, dubbed D1, which has been flying since February 7.
The new Global Executive Helicopter Network (GEHN) began operations on May 1 as a transatlantic alliance of helicopter charter providers. The program has been launched by Sikorsky’s Associated Aircraft Group (AAG) subsidiary, which operates 10 S-76s in the northeastern U.S.
Helicopter turboshaft manufacturers are incorporating new technologies in their engines to lower fuel burn, enhance capabilities and reduce operating costs. The major manufacturers are developing engines to meet these demands, along with the need for more power and lower emissions.
Helicopter interiors specialist LifePort of Woodland, Wash., has delivered a Sikorsky S-76 C++ that customer Petroleum Helicopters says will be the first dedicated, 24-hour offshore medical helicopter.
The NTSB is continuing its investigation into the fatal January 4 crash of a PHI-operated 2006 Sikorsky S-76C++ near Morgan City, La. Tear-down and tests of all critical components thus far have revealed no anomalies, but the CVR’s cockpit and area microphones picked up a “loud noise,” followed by an ongoing increase in “background” noise, at the time the helicopter abruptly lost torque in both engines.
Sikorsky Aircraft (Booth No. 1740) will honor British Columbia-based Helijet International today for achieving 140,000 accident-free hours with its fleet of S-76As. The operator provides scheduled helicopter airline and air ambulance services and has been operating Sikorsky helicopters for more than 20 years. It currently operates five S-76As, one S-61 and a Learjet 31A.
Filtration Development Corporation (FDC), provider of inlet barrier filters for a variety of civil and military helicopters, has received EASA approval for installation of its filters on all Turbomeca Arriel-powered Sikorsky S-76s, following FAA issuance of an STC last September. FDC, exhibiting at Booth No.
Offshore oil transport specialist PHI has unveiled what it says is the first dedicated, 24-hour offshore emergency medical services helicopter.
FlightSafety International (Booth No. 834) is providing simulator training for Sikorsky helicopter pilots at its learning center in Lafayette, La. The 70,000-sq-ft center features a level-D Sikorsky S-76C+/C++ simulator and is equipped to accommodate up to eight simulators in total.
“We look forward to better days.”