Sikorsky provided the S-76C+T helicopter that the Royal Family currently flies and was named preferred supplier for the replacement, which will be an S-76C++T helicopter subject to contract and U.K. government approval.
"The new S76C++, which will continue to provide the Royal Family with a helicopter travel service for official engagements, was chosen as most closely meeting the mission requirements, providing the best value and producing the lowest carbon footprint of the three short-listed helicopters," said Captain Christopher Pittaway, Manager and Chief Pilot of The Queen's Helicopter Flight.
"Quality, safety, performance and styling distinguish the S-76C++ helicopter as an aircraft of choice for VVIP transport," said Steve Estill, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Sikorsky Aircraft. "We are honored that the Royal Family and so many others entrust their safety and comfort to us."
The new S76C++ helicopter is expected to enter service in August 2009. The S-76C++ helicopter features engine, air vehicle, interior and avionics upgrades. These include 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 Quiet ZoneT technology that significantly reduces interior noise levels without any weight maintenance penalties.
The S-76® helicopter serves a multi-mission role that includes offshore oil, VIP transport, including head of state, emergency medical transport, search and rescue and civil defense. The S-76C++ helicopter was initially certified by the FAA in January 2006 and more recently was certified for unconstrained operations in extreme snowy conditions. The European Aviation Safety Agency certified the type design in July 2006, allowing for the export of the S-76C++ helicopter to all European Union countries.
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.