"This level of customer commitment to the S-76D reflects both the superior customer service offered by the S-76 helicopter team, as well as the performance enhancements offered by the S-76D configuration," said Mark Hammond S-76D program manager. The S-76D is on track for initial certification in late 2009.
The S-76D offers a more than a 1,000-lbs increase in useful load and extended range performance over the S-76C+ aircraft currently fielded. In addition, the D model will feature:
"The S-76 has proven to be a popular, dependable helicopter for our customers on many fronts," said Sikorsky President Jeffrey Pino. "It has continued to evolve in comfort, performance and safety, and the D model will feature state-of-the-art upgrades that will continue to make the S-76 the best value helicopter in its class, balancing speed, range, low operating cost and all-weather performance."
The S-76C++TM helicopter currently in production was first announced in February 2005 as a series of engine, air vehicle, interior and avionics upgrades. Among the product improvements made available at that time were a more powerful Turbomeca Arriel 2S2 Engine, an inlet barrier filter to protect the engine against erosion and environmental contaminants, a new VIP interior, new optional Health and Usage Monitoring System and a quiet main gearbox using QUIETZONETM technology that significantly reduced interior noise levels without any weight maintenance penalties.
More recently, the Federal Aviation Administration certified the S-76C++ for unconstrained operations in extreme snowy conditions.
To date, more than 650 S-76 helicopters have been delivered, serving a multi-mission role that includes offshore oil, VIP including head of state, emergency medical transport, search and rescue and civil defense.
For 2007, S-76 production is on a pace for 46 aircraft, with a backlog that reaches well into 2008. The European Aviation Safety Agency certified the type design in July 2006, paving the way for the export of the C++ to all European Union countries. The Union comprises 25 member states including Poland, Czech Republic, Germany and France. The EASA approval followed FAA certification in January 2006.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacturing, and service. The company's long commitment to safety and innovation is reflected in its mission statement: "We pioneer flight solutions that bring people home everywhere...every timeTM." 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.
This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning future business opportunities. Actual results may differ materially from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to: challenges in the design, development, production and support of advanced technologies; as well as other risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to those detailed from time to time in United Technologies Corporation's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.