The new S-92 dedicated to SAR is entering service for the United Kingdom Maritime and Coastguard Agency in 2007. The helicopter unveiled today is the first of four brand new S-92 helicopters configured entirely for search and rescue. It will be delivered to the MCA for use primarily in the Highlands and Islands of the UK. The helicopter is owned and operated by CHC Helicopter Corp.
"Sikorsky Aircraft developed this uniquely capable helicopter for over-water search and rescue for one of the most demanding and challenging environments ever -- the North Sea," said Sikorsky President Jeffrey Pino. "Sikorsky has a long, rich history of both civil and military search and rescue. After more than 43,000 flight hours, the Sikorsky S-92 has demonstrated itself as a safe, reliable and cost-efficient platform, ideally suited for long-range transport missions in all-weather."
Richard Parkes, Director of Technical Services for the MCA, said the S-92s are in use on a variety of commercial duties around the world, proving their operational effectiveness and reliability. "The MCA are delighted to be able to receive these new Sikorsky Aircraft today specifically for use in the very challenging coastline around the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. These faster new aircraft will be able to fly further to people at sea than those currently in use, and in the temperatures of our northern seas every second can count towards the survival of those in distress" he said.
With improvements added to the S-92 to tailor it for the search and rescue mission, the S-92 can go farther with two internal auxiliary fuel tanks of 210 gallons each. New SAR options include an Automatic Flight Control System with auto-hover capability, FLIR, dual rescue hoist, full sliding-door with bubble window, cargo hook, search-light and loud hailer. The spacious cabin is designed to offer the utmost flexibility for installing a triple medical litter kit, one or two aux fuel tanks, folding utility seats and ample storage.
The designated operator console provides search data including FLIR, enhancing crew coordination and mission success. In addition, the cabin is designed to be flexible, to allow for quick and easy removal or installation of interior elements, and can carry 10, 12 or 19 passengers, depending on the mission.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacturing, and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.