The certification paves the way for a new commercial member of the S-76 line to enter the marketplace.
Following the maiden flight of the prototype in 2009, Sikorsky faced several delays in gaining certification of the new helicopter due to technical issues.
With these issues resolved and regulatory specifications met, the company is expected to begin the deliveries of the new aircraft later this quarter; Sikorsky claims to have received orders totalling $500m for the helicopter.
Powered by Pratt & Whitney PW210S engines, the medium-twin aircraft features all-composite, flaw-tolerant main rotor blades, an advanced avionics system integrated by Thales and autopilot, as well as a health and usage monitoring system and active vibration control.
Sikorsky Global Helicopters vice president Ed Beyer said the S-76D helicopter can be used across various mission segments including offshore support, VIP, search-and-rescue and emergency medical services (EMS).
"The S-76D helicopter will offer a higher cruise speed than its predecessors, coupled with more efficient fuel burn, making the S-76 more productive than ever," Beyer said.
Sikorsky Global Helicopters president Carey Bond added: "Our customers are excited to begin receiving the S-76D into their fleets. We are equally excited to deliver a new product that represents three and a half decades of continuous product improvement, to offer them a helicopter with improved efficiency, power and best-in-class noise signature."
Sikorsky’s S-76D helicopter receives FAA certification
Oct. 17, 2012, Stratford, Conn. - Sikorsky Aircraft, a subsidiary of United Technologies, has received type certificate for its S-76D medium-twin helicopter from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) this week following an intensive flight test programme.
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