S-76D First FlightSikorsky's S-76D achieves first flight
Erstflug der neuen S-76-Version <br /> Sikorsky Chief Test Pilot Greg Barnes and Pilot Mike Hardy conducted the first flight of the S-76D at Sikorsky's Florida facility on February 7, the company reported today.
The latest version of the S-76 helicopter maneuvered through taxi, hover, hover turns, and forward flight to 40 knots in a test flight that lasted approximately 30 minutes. The milestone culminated more than three years of design, development and testing of the first prototype aircraft.
Among the S-76D helicopter's new features are all-composite, flaw-tolerant main rotor blades; an advanced Thales avionics system and autopilot; dual speed rotor with active vibration control; powerful Pratt & Whitney 210S engines; a quiet mode for enhanced public acceptance; and an optional Rotor Ice Protection System (RIPS) for all-weather capability. The S-76D helicopter also will offer an increase in useful load and extended range performance versus the S-76C+ and S-76C++ currently fielded. The S-76D is scheduled to enter production with certification, and customer deliveries in 2010. Sikorsky already has approximately 100 delivery position agreements on the aircraft.