EASA, which is made up of previous and new European Union JAA members, made the formal certificate presentation to Sikorsky yesterday in Philadelphia at the annual FAA/JAA/EASA meeting.
"The S-92 provides unprecedented levels of safety and reliability. This has been recognized by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and now the same meticulous standards have been met internationally," said Sikorsky President Steve Finger. "This is something the best team in the helicopter industry can be proud of.".
The S-92 is the first and remains the only helicopter in the world certified by the FAA to FAR Part 29 Transport Rotorcraft, Amendment 47, the latest U.S. safety regulations. The Joint Aviation Requirements (JAR) are the European counterpart of the USA-based FAR, with similar safety regulations.
"Our type certification and safety capabilities place us a full generation ahead of other medium helicopters in the marketplace," Finger added.
Sikorsky is moving full speed ahead with its certification plan. Set to follow EASA/JAA certification is Transport Canada approval, slated for later this summer. Major advancements toward certification of the S-92 for flight into known icing conditions were achieved earlier this year, when the aircraft completed successful tests behind a CH-47 icing tanker. Favorable weather at test sites throughout North America produced a broad range of natural icing temperature and moisture conditions that spanned the entire certification envelope. The concluding aspects of full icing certification will occur later this year when regulatory agencies fly the S-92 for final approval in known icing.
Production deliveries of the S-92 begin this summer, with a total of 12 aircraft planned for delivery this year. Customers include VIP transport as well as both domestic and international offshore oil operators.
As first deliveries approach, all necessary elements of support are ready or in final preparation. A multi-million dollar range of spare parts inventory, publications and support equipment are in place, and technical manual validation on the first aircraft is being completed. Sikorsky's Worldwide Customer Service organization is implementing systems to capture and use data originating on the first operational aircraft. Combined data from the Health Usage Monitoring System (HUMS), bearing monitors, maintenance data computers, and maintenance management systems will electronically flow to Sikorsky for real-time analysis and action.
Training, conducted by Sikorsky's partner FlightSafety International, is also being finalized. The FlightSafety S-92 flight simulator is in use today at the West Palm Beach Learning Center, and customers are already attending training courses. The simulator is on track for FAA Level D certification in July.
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.