Sikorsky S-76D enters final assembly
Dec. 6, 2010, Coatesville, Pa. - Final assembly production of the S-76D helicopter has commenced at Sikorsky Global Helicopters’ manufacturing facility, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. announced today, marking a significant milestone in delivering the next generation of the popular S-76 helicopter.
By Carey Fredericks
Aero Vodochody in the Czech Republic, which has produced more than 250 S-76 airframes for Sikorsky, is manufacturing the S-76D fuselages. On Nov. 19, Aero Vodochody delivered the first production fuselage to Sikorsky Global Helicopters for final assembly operations. The fully assembled fuselage arrived with all electrical and cockpit systems having passed acceptance tests.
“We are a ‘go’ for final assembly and completions,” said Tim Fox, S-76® senior program manager. “This is a major achievement toward delivery in 2012.”
Sikorsky Global Helicopters will install Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210S engines, blades, and gearboxes during final assembly, followed by acceptance flight tests and customer completions. Delivery of the first aircraft to the launch customer is slated
In November, the S-76D helicopter program entered into certification flight status at the Sikorsky Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. This is the final phase of the test program that provides critical data for FAA sea-level certification, expected by Q4 2011. Two prototype aircraft are in flight status, with a third scheduled to join the fleet early next year. All three prototypes were manufactured at the Sikorsky Global Helicopters facility.
“Sikorsky’s Coatesville facility provides superb completion and customization of Sikorsky helicopter models,” said Sikorsky Global Helicopters Vice President Ed Beyer. “Now, we have further enhanced our operations to prepare for the task ahead – delivering a world-class multi-role aircraft to a global fleet. As we focus on the production of the S-76D helicopter, we will transition from the S-76C++ aircraft to the S-76D helicopter, continuing our legacy of performance and reliability in the medium-size market to deliver the most technologically advanced and efficient helicopter in its class.”
The new generation S-76D helicopter will perform an array of civil missions including executive transport, offshore oil, emergency medical services, and a multi-mission role.
Among the S-76D helicopter’s features are all-composite, flaw-tolerant main rotor blades; an advanced THALES integrated avionics system and autopilot; dual rotor speed for quiet mode operation with active vibration control; powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210S engines; a quiet mode; and an optional Rotor Ice Protection System (RIPS) for all-weather capability.