To date, more than 700 S-76 helicopters have been delivered world wide, logging more than 4.8 million flight hours in operation in 37 countries. The S-76 helicopters are serving in multi-missions that include offshore oil, VIP including head of state, emergency medical transport, search and rescue, and civil defense.
“A large number of the S-76 helicopters are flying in Brazil, supporting the offshore activities for Petrobras and other international oil companies,” said Sikorsky President Jeffrey P. Pino. “Those aircraft are flying not only offshore missions, but also providing transportation for VIP’s in a comfortable, safe environment. Clearly, the S-76 helicopter presence in Latin America is strong. We look forward to continuing to grow in this region where demand for the versatility and proven performance of this aircraft remains high.“
The market projection for the S-76 helicopter in Brazil continues to grow, with more sales being realized each year. Other S-76 aircraft are also flying in Mexico and Trinidad, supporting oil operations, and Presidential VIP S-76 aircraft are flying the Presidents of Panama and Argentina.
An intermediate class, twin-engine commercial helicopter, the S-76 helicopter was originally intended for the offshore and executive marketplaces. The S-76 helicopter program was announced in February 1975 as the first strictly commercial production program in Sikorsky's history. The first production aircraft was delivered in February 1979.
The next production model of the S-76 helicopter is the S-76D™ helicopter. The S-76D helicopter will offer a more than 1,000-lb increase in useful load and extended range performance over the S-76C+™ aircraft currently fielded. In addition, the D helicopter model will feature all-composite, flaw-tolerant main rotor blades, an advanced Thales avionics system and autopilot; dual speed rotor with active vibration control, and a Pratt & Whitney 210S engine, among other functionalities.
One of the largest offshore operators in Brazil has signed four position agreements for the S-76D helicopter. The S-76D helicopter program is on track for main rotor blade testing in the second quarter of 2008, followed by ground runs on the model’s prototype aircraft and first flight later this year. It is expected to receive initial certification in late 2009.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., USA, is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture, 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 time™." United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., USA, provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.