During a ceremony at Sikorsky Aircraft’s commercial helicopter centre in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, on September 28, the China Ministry of Transport’s (MOT’s) final two S-76D search and rescue (SAR) helicopters were formally accepted. The MOT’s helicopter fleet, which is the foundation of China’s airborne SAR maritime operations, now totals 16 S-76 helicopters, eight of which are the new S-76D model.
In December 2012, the China MOT purchased four SAR S-76Ds and then contracted for four additional helicopters of the same model in July 2013. The latest SAR contract is the fifth that China’s MOT has awarded to Sikorsky for the S-76 series of helicopters since 2000.
Mr Wang Zhenliang, Director General, China Rescue & Salvage Bureau, Ministry of Transport, said: “We have had a long legacy of success with our S-76 aircraft, resulting in hundreds of lives being saved since 2001. These two S-76D helicopter deliveries mark another significant milestone in our programme, providing us with the latest technology and enhancing our capabilities for our search and rescue missions.”
Shane Eddy, President, Sikorsky Commercial Systems and Services, said: “The search and rescue missions performed by the China MOT fulfill Sikorsky founder Igor Sikorsky’s vision for the helicopter as an instrument for saving lives. We are proud to support the work of the China MOT and its aircrews in using our aircraft to save the lives of so many people.”
Since January 2014, as well as SAR, Sikorsky has completed S-76D helicopter deliveries into all mission segments including offshore oil, VIP and air medical transportation. Sikorsky has delivered more than 800 S-76 helicopters to customers globally since 1979, contributing daily to a growing number of more than 6.7 million flight hours.
The S-76D helicopter’s baseline equipment includes Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210S engines; an advanced Thales TopDeck integrated avionics system and four-axis autopilot; Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) incorporated into fleet monitoring and analysis; active vibration control; and all-composite, flaw-tolerant main rotor blades. Alan Warnes