Since being certified, two C++ aircraft have already been delivered. The inaugural C++ aircraft went to Petroleum Helicopters Inc. (PHI) and will be used for offshore oil support and employee transfer missions. In total there are over 60 S-76C++ helicopters on order.
First announced at the Heli-Expo trade show in February 2005 as a series of engine, air vehicle, interior and avionics upgrades the new S-76C++ helicopter will make way for a set of additional product improvements that will lead to the launch of the new S-76D model in 2008.
"The S-76 helicopter's success has been built by meeting the needs of the customer. We continue that tradition today by securing certification for the new S-76C++. Able to provide more power, range, operating efficiencies, reliability and comfort, the S-76C++ truly is a continuation of the venerable S-76 line," said Jeff Pino, Sikorsky's senior vice president for corporate strategy and commercial programs.
Product improvements available immediately on the S-76C++ include the new more powerful Turbomeca Arriel 2S2 Engine, an inlet barrier filter to protect the engine against erosion and environmental contaminants, a new VIP interior, new HUMS (Health and Usage Monitoring System), and a quiet main gearbox utilizing QUIETZONE Technology that will significantly reduce interior noise levels without any weight, maintenance or TBO penalties. The more powerful engine in the S-76C++ provides approximately 350 lbs of additional payload capacity as compared to an S-76C+ on hot days and high altitude conditions.
These 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.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacturing and service. United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), of Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.