"Clearly we are very happy to continue our strong association with Sikorsky," said Captain Steve Hogarth, JCB Chief of Operations - Aviation. "JCB is arguably one of the busiest European corporate helicopter operations. We will put this aircraft into service to transport our VIP clients throughout Europe. This acquisition will allow us to continue to support one of our core values: to provide superior customer care."
He added, "We are particularly looking forward to receiving this aircraft, which will be equipped with the Quiet Main Gearbox and Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS). We plan on upgrading our current S76C+ in the near future to these improved items as well."
Sikorsky announced in February 2005 the series of engine, air vehicle, interior and avionics upgrades that led to the launch of the S-76C++ helicopter. An additional set of product improvements was also highlighted for the new S-76D model that will launch in 2008.
The extensive product upgrades ensure that the S-76C++ and the future S-76D will remain best-in-class in the corporate VIP, offshore oil, airline, EMS/ search-and-rescue and law enforcement segments.
Product improvements available immediately on the S-76C++ include a Turbomeca Arriel 2S2 engine upgrade, new VIP interior, new health and usage monitoring system (HUMS), and new QUIETZONE technology that will significantly reduce interior noise level without weight penalty.
The S-76D will build upon the upgrades slated immediately for the C++ by offering additional product improvements including a new composite main rotor blade, new quiet tail rotor, a rotorcraft icing protection system (RIPS) that will provide the ability to launch into known icing conditions, a new cockpit with an integrated avionics system designed to the latest U.S. and European requirements, and a new Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210 engine.
The S-76 fleet has accumulated more than 4 million flight hours, an achievement made possible by the more than 220 operators currently flying close to 600 aircraft in 60 countries around the world. Sikorsky is scheduled to deliver the milestone 600th aircraft in the series later this year.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacturing and service. United Technologies Corp. of Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.