Third S-76D prototype joins test program
Sept. 13, 2011, Stratford, Conn. - Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. has introduced the third S-76D prototype into its testing programme.
By Carey Fredericks
"D3," the third prototype, recently flew for the first time, officially taking its place in the flight test programme to serve as the primary vehicle to certify the avionics and electrical systems. The programme has achieved more than 500 flight hours to-date with its first two prototypes. All three prototypes were assembled at the Sikorsky Global Helicopters facility in Coatesville, Pa.
"As the flight test program has grown, we have offered customers the opportunity to fly in the aircraft," said Tim Fox, Senior Programme Manager on the S-76 helicopter programme. "The S-76D helicopter offers a 14 per cent increase in takeoff power and an 8 per cent fuel efficiency over its predecessor. It is a difference the customers have noticed."
The S-76D will also be fully certified for flight into known icing – a first for the S-76 helicopter family.