Sikorsky Delivers 600th S-76 Helicopter
Sikorsky Aircraft last month reached a major milestone when it delivered the 600th example of its venerable S-76 helicopter. Now available as model C++ -- with a new version, the D, slated to enter service in 2008 -- more than 220 operators in 59 countries are currently flying S-76 helicopters. According to the company, the fleet has accumulated more than four million flight hours since the first S-76 was placed in service in 1979. "The success of the S-76 has been built by meeting the needs of our customers throughout the product's long and distinguished tenure. Delivering our 600th helicopter attests to the S-76's status as the preferred choice for hundreds of commercial operators around the world," said Jeff Pino, Sikorsky's senior vice president for strategy, marketing and commercial programs.
Sikorsky in February 2005 announced a series of upgrades available immediately on the S-76C++ and a set of additional product improvements that will result in the new S-76D model. The S-76D will build upon the C++ upgrades by offering improvements including a new composite main rotor blade, a new quiet tail rotor, a rotorcraft icing protection system, a new cockpit with integrated avionics and a new Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210 engine. The helicopter is used extensively in corporate VIP, offshore oil, airline, EMS/search-and-rescue and law enforcement operations.