Sikorsky announced today that Cougar Helicopters, part of Canada’s VIH Aviation Group (VIHAG), is the launch customer for its S-92A+ upgrade kit with an order for four. The kit features the new Phase IV main gearbox that uses a supplemental oil pump and additional oil lines to reuse main gearbox oil that is accumulated in a lower sump in the event of primary lubrication failure on the helicopter twin.
According to Sikorsky, the new gearbox fits into the existing space for the legacy component and provides for increased time between overhaul interval of up to 25 percent. Though the new gearbox is heavier than then the original one, it is offset with weight savings elsewhere on the aircraft.
The upgrade can be fitted to existing helicopters as part of the current 1,500-hour inspection and is just one of several menu items that can be selected for the A+ twin. Other options include an increased gross weight kit to 27,700 pounds and uprated engines, GE Aviation CT7-8A6s, that offer better payload capability and hot-and-high performance. The new engine, which was certified in June 2019, allows customers to operate with both full seats and full fuel under most conditions.
“This kit will improve our S-92 fleet’s performance and capacity and enables VIHAG companies to continue providing our customers industry-leading, all-weather and deep-water offshore SAR, medevac, and passenger transportation,” said VIHAG president Ken Norie.
Sikorsky v-p for commercial systems and services Audrey Brady added, “This program will enhance safety and lower operating costs, and we are honored to work with VIH as our launch customer for this program."
Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky announced both the S-92A+ upgrade program and the follow-on S-92B production helicopter program in 2019. The company anticipates the S-92A+ kit will be delivered by 2023 and the S-92B helicopter in 2025. All of the features on the A+ kit will be incorporated into the B model, along with several other improvements such as 20 percent larger cabin windows, titanium side frames that increase fuselage service life, and a common cabin door for offshore and SAR missions.
S-92A+ kit options will be rolled out progressively, Brady said. They also include the previously disclosed Matrix advanced flight computing hardware and software. Matrix enables other new Sikorsky technology such as Rig Approach 2.0 and SuperSearch. For offshore missions, Rig Approach permits the helicopter to fly a mission profile to within a quarter-mile of the helideck on an oil rig.