NAA's Collier Trophy Goes To Sikorsky Helicopter

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The Sikorsky S-92 helicopter has been selected by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) to receive the Robert J. Collier Trophy for 2002. The S-92 is the only helicopter to be certified under the FAA's latest standards for transport-category rotorcraft (FAR Part 29). It was singled out for the Collier award because it incorporates multiple improvements in safety, operating cost, and traveling comfort, the NAA said. The S-92 has six feet of headroom in the cabin, and 50 percent less noise and 30 percent less vibration than other helicopters. The S-92 is a 19-passenger, twin-engine transport with a range of approximately 575 miles and speeds up to 190 mph. The S-92 more than meets the Collier's criteria for recognition as the "greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America for the preceding year," the NAA concluded. It is also being developed in a military version, the H-92, which offers the same performance characteristics. Sikorsky says the aircraft is "fully flaw and damage tolerant," making it less likely to suffer fatigue from the nicks, dents, scratches, impacts, corrosion, and fretting damage that can occur in manufacturing and service use. Also, the S-92 is designed so that engine failure can be tolerated anywhere in the flight envelope while permitting safe flight to landing. Sikorsky, based in Stratford, Conn., has built five prototypes of the S-92.