Petroleum Helicopters, Inc. (PHI) was presented keys to the first production S-92 in a public ceremony at Heli-Expo today. The delivery marks the first of two S-92 aircraft slated to enter service with PHI in 2004 to support deepwater drilling and production activity in the Gulf of Mexico. "The S-92 represents the latest technology in terms of design and safety," said Lance Bospflug, PHI President and CEO.
Other customers include such respected offshore operators as Norsk Helikopter of Norway and Canada's CHC Helicopter Corporation, and several VIP customers, attesting to the aircraft's versatility and confidence in Sikorsky.
"The S-92 has had great success in penetrating the offshore oil industry," said Jeff Pino, Senior Vice President-Marketing and Commercial Programs. "We're also extremely pleased with the interest we're seeing in both the airline and VIP transport communities. The S-92 has quickly established itself as the premier helicopter in its class."
Evolved from the proven S-70 BLACK HAWK and SEAHAWK aircraft, the S-92 incorporates more than 50 years of Sikorsky civil and multi-mission helicopter experience. The aircraft is available in a variety of configurations for commercial customers, including offshore oil, VIP transport, airline operations and other missions.
Combining the latest in airworthiness technology with levels of performance and productivity that are Sikorsky hallmarks, the Sikorsky S-92 represents a major addition to the medium-lift utility helicopter market in a unique package of features that provide state-of-the-art protection to passengers and crew. Certified to the latest and most rigorous Federal Aviation Administration safety standards, the Sikorsky S-92 has been designated "the safest helicopter in the world" by the FAA.
Five prototype aircraft have achieved 2,480 flight hours to date, and two of the aircraft have been designated for special missions. Aircraft #4 has been turned into the VH-92 demonstrator, representing the type of aircraft the company is presenting for the U.S. Presidential helicopter bid. Aircraft #3 is making tremendous progress on rigorous icing tests in Marquette, Michigan. The aircraft will move into natural icing tests later this month once the tanker icing missions are complete. Aircraft #5 has returned to its base in West Palm Beach, Fla., where it is undergoing flotation testing and altitude flying.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of advanced helicopters for commercial, industrial and military uses. Sikorsky helicopters occupy a prominent position in the intermediate to heavy range of 5,300 kg. to 33,000 kg. gross weight. They are flown by all five branches of the United States armed forces, along with military services and commercial operators in more than 40 nations. 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.