COATESVILLE, Pa., Jan. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. announced today that it delivered its first fully configured S-76D™ helicopter, the latest in the long and highly successful Sikorsky S-76® commercial aircraft family, to the Bristow Group Inc. in December. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).
The delivery follows an announcement in March 2013 that Bristow would acquire up to 26 S-76D™ helicopters to transport oil rig workers to and from offshore platforms.
"This delivery marks a historic occasion for Sikorsky as the new S-76D helicopter heads into service. We are thrilled that the first completed aircraft is going to our highly valued customer, Bristow Group, with which we share a 40-year relationship and a culture of safety and quality," said Carey Bond, president, Sikorsky Global Helicopters. "We thank Bristow for their continued trust in our products and proudly look forward to this aircraft joining the Bristow rotorcraft fleet."
"Bristow is committed to providing the safest, most reliable and efficient service to our clients, and our S-76 aircraft have done just that by consistently performing a demanding and intensive offshore oil and gas transportation mission on an aggressive schedule," said William E. Chiles, president and chief executive officer of Bristow Group, "We are excited about this delivery and look forward to putting the new S-76D with its enhanced capabilities into our operations around the world."
The Federal Aviation Administration approved the Type Certificate for the baseline S-76D aircraft in October 2012. In the ensuing year, the Sikorsky Flight Test program expanded certifications. The S-76D™ helicopter achieved FAA certification for offshore oil operations on Oct. 31, enabling Sikorsky to deliver completed aircraft for that mission. This certification increases the S-76D™ helicopter's maximum gross weight to 11,875 pounds and allows up to 12 passengers for operations in the offshore oil configuration. The S-76D™ helicopter also received an expanded baseline certification, allowing the aircraft to operate in a wider range of environments.
"The S-76D helicopter delivers the safety, reliability and efficiency our customers have come to expect from the S-76 family of aircraft, but with faster cruise speed and a more efficient fuel burn," added Mr. Bond.
The S-76D helicopter has quickly proven popular with customers, with a current backlog exceeding $700 million. Sikorsky has delivered more than 800 S-76 helicopters to customers globally since 1979, contributing daily to a growing 6-million-plus fleet flight hour total.
The S-76D helicopter's baseline equipment includes powerful and efficient 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 through Sikorsky Aerospace Services; active vibration control; and all-composite, flaw-tolerant main rotor blades. A Rotor Ice Protection System (RIPS) for all-weather capability will be available as an option.
Bristow Group Inc., which currently operates more than 100 Sikorsky helicopters, is the leading provider of helicopter services to the worldwide offshore energy industry based on the number of aircraft operated and one of two helicopter service providers to the offshore energy industry with global operations. Bristow has major transportation operations in the North Sea, Nigeria and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and in most of the other major offshore oil and gas producing regions of the world, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Russia and Trinidad. For more information, visit Bristow's website at www.bristowgroup.com.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture, and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.
SOURCE Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.