The Xunta de Galicia's SAR branch provides coastguard coverage off northwest Spain. The service in the past has leased its rescue and maritime patrol helicopters, but selected the S-76C+ as the first helicopter type it will own. The multi-mission service made the purchase to maximize the cost/efficiency ratio.
The Xunta's main missions are SAR over land and sea as well as fisheries surveillance and inspection. Secondary missions include support of Emergency Medical Services, Civil Protection, police and military activities and general logistics work.
"We are happy to provide these fine aircraft for these noble humanitarian missions," said Jeff Pino, Sikorsky Senior Vice President -- Marketing and Commercial Programs. "The unique ability of helicopters to save lives motivated our founder, Igor Sikorsky, to create better and more robust aircraft. The C++ model certainly reflects the best of this technology."
The S-76C++ meets the customer's requirement for dash speeds of more than 155 ktas, even when fully equipped for SAR. The aircraft is also capable of rescues at ranges of up to 235 nm.
Equipment aboard the all-weather IFR-equipped aircraft includes a four-axis AFCS, auto approach to hover and departure with search patterns, FLIR, digital video recorder, NiteSun searchlight, rescue hoist with back up clip-on hoist HUMS, weather radar, moving map display, GPS and a flotation system.
Eight Sikorsky S-76C aircraft currently serve the Spanish Air Force.
The S-76C+ is a venerable fixture in offshore oil, corporate, SAR and EMS activities across the globe. Recent milestones for the S-76 include the S-76C++ receiving The Robb Report's 2003 award for "Best Luxury Helicopter," and an S-76A currently in airline service surpassing the 25,000-hour mark.
An uprated version of the proven S-76 helicopter, the S-76C++ combines the rugged S-76B airframe with the more capable, FADEC-controlled Turbomeca Arriel 2S1 engine. It offers improved single engine and hot-high performance while retaining the efficient, long-range cruise of the earlier models.
Operating in 44 countries by 192 operators, more than 540 Sikorsky S-76 helicopters have accumulated over three million flight hours with an extraordinary safety record, while providing the best combination of operating costs and performance in their weight class.
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.