Photo Courtesy of Sikorsky Aircraft CorporationA new standard in quietness in commercial helicopters is forthcoming, as Sikorsky's new S-76D moves toward FAA-certification. It is expected to happen later this year. So far, the S-76D has met performance, reliability and pilot-workload expectations with more than 225 test flights.
Falcon Aviation Services, which is based in Abu Dhabi, is the launch customer for the S-76D, having contracted to purchase two in November 2009. Falcon also holds an option to buy two more S-76Ds. Final assembly of the first two helicopters is under way at the Sikorsky Global Helicopters facility.
Sikorsky has a third S-76D on display at the Heli-Expo Industry show this week. The third model will join the test program this summer at the company's complex in West Palm Beach, Florida. The S-76D, the next-generation Sikorsky S-76, is a multipurpose commercial helicopter that is equally capable at luxuriously transporting executives or efficiently handling emergency medical services.
The new helicopter features a dual rotor speed for quiet-mode operation and a reduced external noise signature that should make it the quietest of any helicopter with a maximum gross weight over 4,000 kilograms (8,818+ pounds). Sikorsky is basing its expectations on current test data and on margins by which other aircraft have adhered to FAA and international noise certification limits.
Visit www.sikorsky.com to learn more.