Sikorsky has announced the end of S-76C++ production, thus firming up S-76D delivery plans for next year. The S-76D medium twin is undergoing flight testing, with the goal of achieving FAA sea-level certification in the fourth quarter of this year. Two prototypes are flying at Sikorsky’s flight center in West Palm Beach, Fla. A third was due to join them early this year but this has not happened yet.
Sikorsky Aerospace Services (Hall 3 D108) has signed an agreement with Switzerland’s Ruag Aviation (Hall 4 B76) to designate its Aplnach helicopter facility as an authorized customer service center (CSC) to support the S-76 helicopter type.
Sikorsky and General Electric have signed a teaming agreement under which GE Aviation will provide CT7-8 engines for Sikorsky’s S-97 Raider prototype development program. The Raider is a high-speed, high-agility next-generation helicopter drawing on the company’s X2 technology, and which is aimed at providing an armed aerial scout for the U.S. Army, among other applications.
Goodrich has been recognized for its role on the 2010 Robert J. Collier Trophy-winning Sikorsky X2 Technology demonstrator team. The company provided the SmartProbe air data systems and engine controls on the record-breaking aircraft.
Sikorsky president Jeff Pino, himself the owner of an Eclipse 500, continues to decline to reveal how much Sikorsky paid when it invested in Eclipse Aerospace last year. On the prospects for restarting production of the small twinjet, Pino said: “If we can make a case for production, that’s something we do really well. And no, despite the rumors, we didn’t invest in Eclipse so I could get parts.”
The UK Ministry of Defence and Department for Transport (DfT) last week canceled the SAR-H search-and-rescue helicopter program after Soteria, the preferred bidder, acknowledged some employee misconduct. The Royal Bank of Scotland has left the Soteria consortium, which now regroups operator CHC, training and aircraft equipment specialist Thales and helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky.
Sikorsky has revealed performance targets for an active counter-vibration system that could make a helicopter ride “jet smooth,” thanks to actuators that counter loads at their source. The rotor hub-mounted vibration suppression system (HMVS) is being developed with Lord and has just completed rig testing.
Members of the Schweizer family claim Sikorsky short-changed them on the 2004 purchase of their helicopter company and are suing to recover $2.8 million. According to the lawsuit, Sikorsky parent United Technologies paid $12 million for the Elmira, N.Y.-based company with promises of up to $10 to $14 million more once certain program progress goals were met and two crash lawsuits were settled.
PZL-Mielec has flown the second Sikorsky S-70i “international” helicopter. It is the first to fly in Poland, where two more units are in final assembly. The Polish company previously shipped major subassemblies for the first S-70i to the U.S., where initial flight tests were completed at Sikorsky’s West Palm Beach, Fla. facility last month.
Sikorsky Innovations has completed rig testing of a hub-mounted vibration suppression system. The effort is jointly funded by Sikorsky and the U.S. Army’s Aviation Applied Technology Directorate. North Carolina-based Lord was also involved in the project. Sikorsky plans to test the technology on one of its helicopters in the next 12 months.