China certifies Sikorsky S-76D helicopter
April 14, 2014, Shanghai, China - Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. has announced that the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has issued a validation type certificate for the S-76D aircraft, allowing Sikorsky to begin delivering the commercial helicopter to customers in China. The announcement was made at the 2014 Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition.
By Carey Fredericks
The S-76D is the latest S-76 model to be validated by CAAC having been preceded by the S-76A and S-76C helicopters More than 30 Sikorsky S-76 aircraft currently operate in China.
Yunnan Jingcheng Group will be the first company in China to take delivery of an S-76D helicopter. The company contracted for a new S-76D in 2012 and is scheduled to receive the aircraft this month. Jingcheng already flies an S-92 helicopter for use in transporting corporate and government VIPs. In September 2013, a second S-92 aircraft was purchased with delivery expected in November 2015.
“We are thrilled to have the S-76D certified by the CAAC. This certification helps expand our presence in a strategically important region with many potential S-76D customers,” said Ryan McFeaters, General Manager, Sikorsky Aircraft – China. “We are also glad to continue working with Jingcheng, an important Sikorsky customer, and look forward to hearing of their successes with this aircraft.”
The S-76D helicopter has quickly proven popular with customers, with a current backlog exceeding $650 million. Sikorsky has delivered more than 800 S-76 helicopters to customers globally since 1979, contributing daily to a growing 6.4-million-plus fleet flight hours total.
The S-76D helicopter’s baseline equipment includes powerful and efficient Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210S engines; an advanced THALES TopDeck integrated avionics system and four-axis autopilot; Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) incorporated into fleet monitoring and analysis; active vibration control; and all-composite, flaw-tolerant main rotor blades. A Rotor Ice Protection System (RIPS) for all-weather capability will be available as an option.
In September 2013, Sikorsky Aircraft and Changhe Aircraft Industries Corp. signed an agreement for Changhe to produce S-76D commercial helicopter cabins for Sikorsky. Changhe serves as a second source for S-76D cabins, with deliveries scheduled to begin in 2016 and production volume based on market demand. Aero Vodochody in the Czech Republic also supplies the cabins.