Sikorsky S-92 Awarded FAA Type Certification
Dec. 19, 2002
- STRATFORD, Conn., Sikorsky's S-92 helicopter achieved Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) type certification today, with 1,570 test flight hours under the most stringent rotorcraft safety requirements imposed to date.
"Today represents a culmination of almost a decade of work by the best team in the helicopter industry," said Sikorsky President Dean Borgman. "It's an extraordinary achievement, marking our first new FAA aircraft certification since we launched the S-76 in November 1978."
Before it is allowed to transport passengers, each aircraft must comply with U.S. Government standards for strength and safety. The S-92 now meets Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) Part 29 Airline Transport Rotorcraft, Amendment 45, the most rigorous set of laws put forth.
"The Sikorsky team deserves our highest compliments," said Bob Mann, Manager, Boston Aircraft FAA Certification Office. "They conducted an impressive and safe program."
"This is like graduating and passing the Bar exam all at once," said Program Director Nick Lappos. "Our type certification and safety capabilities place us a full generation ahead of other medium helicopters in the marketplace."
Evolved from the proven S-70 BLACK HAWK and SEAHAWK aircraft, the S-92 incorporates more than 50 years of Sikorsky civil and multi-mission helicopter experience. Originally conceived as a replacement for the venerable S-61, the S-92 is available in a variety of configurations for commercial customers, including offshore oil, VIP transport, airline operations, and other missions. The aircraft continues to generate strong interest, with deposit agreements spanning various customers and industries across the globe.
Breaking new ground for medium-weight helicopters, the S-92 provides unprecedented levels of safety and reliability. It is the only aircraft in its class certified to the latest specifications for flaw tolerance, bird strike capability and turbine burst protection. In addition to its civil helicopter capabilities, the rotor system and dynamic components are designed to meet the UH-60 BLACK HAWK ballistic tolerance requirements and all gearboxes are capable of running 30 minutes after loss of oil. Corrosion protection meets or exceeds current maritime standards.
In addition to its superior safety features, the S-92 excels in the areas of performance and cost effectiveness. Not only does the S-92 reach speeds of 165 knots and fly more than 500 nautical miles while carrying more payload than current competitors, but operators are also projected to save more than $200 per flight hour in maintenance costs over the Super Puma, and $500 per flight hour over the EH-101.
Sikorsky led an international consortium of companies through the development of the S-92. Global team members include Embraer of Brazil, Gamesa of Spain, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan, Jingdezhen Helicopter Group of the People's Republic of China, and Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation of Taiwan. Major subcontractors include Hamilton Sundstrand, General Electric and Rockwell Collins.
Production on the S-92 is already underway, with major subassemblies under construction in partner facilities, and final assembly commencing in March 2003 in Sikorsky's new Bridgeport facility.
The S-92 has seen several recent enhancements prior to certification, incorporating both customer-inspired design changes and the Rockwell Collins cockpit. The aircraft now offers additional cabin space and a larger main cabin door, with a 16-inch (41 cm) cabin length extension, as well as reduced tail pylon height and a relocated horizontal stabilizer.
The new Rockwell Collins cockpit affords outstanding visibility and is equipped with a highly integrated avionics package. Rockwell Collins Avionics Management System (AMS) provides the display and management of primary flight data, presentation and management of all navigation information. The system also provides flight management data, a digital map, weather radar, terrain information and engine instrument caution and advisory system processing and display.
At the center of the Rockwell Collins AMS are four portrait 6 x 8-inch high-resolution color active matrix liquid crystal Multi-function Displays (MFDs), with a fifth display to be offered as a customer option. The displays are exceptionally sunlight- and cross-cockpit readable, and are also compatible with night vision goggle operations.
"The Rockwell Collins cockpit incorporates the most advanced avionics technology available today for rotorcraft," said Lappos. "The unique schematic data presentations provide pilots with a visual depiction of the aircraft's condition that is intuitively easy to interpret, a real plus in high workload and emergency situations."
Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of advanced helicopters for commercial, industrial and military uses. Sikorsky helicopters occupy a prominent position in the intermediate to heavy range of 5,300 kg. to 33,000 kg. gross weight. They are flown by all five branches of the United States armed forces, along with military services and commercial operators in more than 40 nations.
For more information, contact Sheena Steiner at (203) 386-4329 or Bill Tuttle at (203) 386-3829.