The S-92 Helibus is a new medium/heavy lift helicopter Sikorsky is developing in with a number of international partners
Development of the S-92 was first announced in 1992 when Sikorsky unveiled a mockup of the new helicopter. In 1993 however Sikorsky postponed launching the S-92 due to the international helicopter market downturn and instead began searching for international risk sharing partners. By 1995 Sikorsky had formed its Team S-92 grouping and formally launched the S-92 at that year's Paris Airshow.
Sikorsky has built five prototype S-92s, four of which are flying aircraft. The first is a civil S-92A, which first flew on December 23 1998. The international utility/military S-92IU development will also be offered. S-92A certification to FAR/JAR Pt 29 and first deliveries are scheduled for 2002.
As originally envisaged the S-92 was to combine upgraded dynamic system components of the H-60/S-70 series with a larger cabin. However the S-92 is essentially an all new helicopter, with larger, composite construction, swept, tapered and anhedral tipped main rotor blades, new tail rotor, and a new four stage transmission based and the three stage S-70 unit.
Some 40% of the aircraft is of composite construction. The S-92's main cabin is wider and longer than the S-70's and features a rear loading freight ramp, while the cockpit will feature a Sanders EFIS system with four colour liquid crystal displays, with provision for a fifth. Power is from two FADEC equipped CT7-8D turboshafts.
Team S-92 members include risk sharing partners Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (7.5%, responsible for the main cabin), Gamesa of Spain (7% - cabin interior and transmission housing) and China's Jingdezhen Helicopter Group (2% - tail pylon and tailplane), while Taiwan's AIDC (6.5% - flightdeck) and Embraer (4% - sponsons and fuel system) are fixed price suppliers/partners.
The S-92 is similar in size to the S-61 and is aimed at being a modern replacement for the later helicopter. The S-92 is also in the same class as the popular Super Puma.
Canadian offshore operator Cougar Helicopters became the launch customer. Deliveries will start in 2002.
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