Sikorsky Expands Safety Suite in Civil Helicopter Line

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Sikorsky Expands Safety Suite in Civil Helicopter Line

May 28, 2004

  Hartford, Connecticut - Sikorsky Aircraft established another rotorcraft industry first by standardizing its new S-76 and S-92 helicopter safety baseline to include Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning Systems (EGPWS) in all civil aircraft configurations.

The EGPWS helps pilots avoid controlled flight into terrain (CFIT). A Sikorsky and Honeywell team developed EGPWS for helicopter applications using the S-76. The system became an option aboard S-76 helicopters after FAA approval in 2001, a first in the rotorcraft industry.

"Sikorsky is continuing its longstanding focus on safety and is now formalizing EGPWS into the new build standard of S-76 and S-92 aircraft," said Sikorsky President Steve Finger. "As the first manufacturer to standardize this configuration in our entire civil line, we are pleased to set another industry Safety benchmark."

Sikorsky's authorized factory training representative, FlightSafety International, will include specialized training in EGPWS as part of its training syllabus to ensure the full value of this safety feature is realized.

Standard configuration S-76 and S-92 helicopters also include a cockpit voice recorder (CVR). The CVR system allows the simultaneous recording of up to four channels of audio and retains the most recent 60 minutes of all recorded audio, digital and timing data.

The EGPWS provides a real-time situational awareness of surrounding terrain and obstacles in relation to the aircraft's altitude and flight path. The system is designed to visually and aurally alert the flight crew of potential trouble ahead.

EGPWS includes a built-in terrain and obstacle database designed to provide situational awareness and help avoid CFIT accidents. The terrain and obstacle information can be displayed in the cockpit on a variety of compatible displays (EFIS or Weather Radar) so that a pilot can immediately determine if the surrounding terrain or obstacles are above or below the aircraft's altitude and pose a potential threat.

It combines Global Positioning System (GPS), database and radar-altimeter inputs to warn the pilot of impending flight into terrain or obstacles, even when the aircraft is turning or the terrain is irregular. The warning is sensitive to speed, flight path angle, roll angle and the rate of change in altitude, and the 'look-ahead' angle varies with speed and leads the aircraft into turns.

Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacturing and service. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation (NYSE: UTX), of Hartford, Conn. which provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.

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