Sikorsky Global Helicopters (SGH) announces delivery of the first of 16 completed S-92® helicopters that the Avincis Group will use to provide transportation for its customers’ offshore oil and gas crews and for search and rescue. The aircraft order announced in February 2012 is the largest single purchase of S-92 helicopters to date, known for their robust design, safety features and performance especially in harsh environments including the North Sea.
The aircraft, which will go first to Norway before being deployed in the UK North Sea sector, was accepted last weekend at SGH’s facility in Coatesville, Pa., by Bjorn Seljevold, Managing Director of Norsk Helikopterservice. Avincis’ subsidiaries operate under the Bond (UK, Norway, Ireland and Australia), Norsk Helikopterservice (Norway), Inaer (Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Chile and Peru) and Australian Helicopters brands.
“We’re proud to have Avincis as a customer and to provide them with a proven and reliable helicopter with a very high availability rate. Avincis has established a global reputation as a company committed to safety and performing vital life-saving missions – a culture and a priority that our two companies share,” said Carey Bond, President of Sikorsky Global Helicopters. “We look forward to all sixteen S-92 aircraft entering the Avincis’ fleet.”
Avincis CEO James Drummond said: “I am delighted to see the delivery of the first of this important addition to our fleet. Avincis’ global scale allows us to ensure our local companies have access to the best resources for their customers. Every day, lives and livelihoods depend on the operations we fly. The size and diversity of our fleet, together with our absolute commitment to safety and quality, means we are equipped to save lives, protect the environment and provide energy services across the world.”
Milestone Aviation Group, a world leader in helicopter leasing and a valued Sikorsky customer, is financing the first four of the 16 S-92 aircraft order. Richard Santulli, Chairman of Milestone, said, “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Avincis and support the growth of their business with the addition of the S-92 to their fleet. This great aircraft will allow Avincis, a world-class operator, to offer even more options to their customers all over the world.”
All 16 S-92 helicopters will feature equipment and systems necessary for operations in the North Sea region in accordance with the European Aviation Safety Agency’s requirements. These include five flotation devices, two auto-deployable life rafts, satellite flight following communications, and a main rotor blade ice protection system. Currently, helicopter operators based in five North Sea region countries are flying 47 S-92 aircraft configured for offshore transport and search and rescue missions.
The S-92 is a multi-mission helicopter that has been used in various roles and will reach two major milestones this year, the first in February when the fleet is expected to reach the 500,000 flight hour milestone. Off shore oil operators fly the aircraft for an average of 90 – 110 hours per month in often challenging environments. Sikorsky also anticipates delivery of the 200th S-92 helicopter in the second quarter of 2013.
SGH is the commercial aircraft business of Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).
Sikorsky Aerospace Services (SAS) announces plans to equip Sikorsky’s modernized S-61T™ helicopter with a suite of advanced avionics provided by S-TEC Corporation/Cobham Commercial Systems (Cobham) of Mineral Wells, Texas. In early 2010, the U.S. Department of State entered into an IDIQ (indefinite delivery-indefinite quantity) agreement to purchase up to 110 modernized S-61 helicopters for passengers and cargo transport missions worldwide.
“Sikorsky’s S-61 helicopter has a 50-year legacy of reliably performing missions for the U.S. and foreign allied militaries. With its rugged endurance, spaciousness, and lift capabilities, the modernized S-61 aircraft can be outfitted to meet a wide variety of requirements. It provides superior value for a mid-size multi-mission helicopter,” said John Johnson, Director, Commercial Customer Support and S-61 Programs. “We are pleased to work with Cobham, which has a solid reputation for innovation and system performance in harsh conditions.”
Decommissioned legacy S-61 aircraft are being converted into a modernized S-61T fleet that incorporate a full array of system upgrades for enhanced mission performance. The IDIQ serves as a contracting vehicle for any U.S. Government agency to purchase the modernized S-61T variant. The integrated avionics package features large-format synthetic vision flight displays, advanced flight management capability, integrated Engine Indication and Crew Alerting System (EICAS), dual digital audio/radio control display units, dual VHF navigation, and communication radios.
“Cobham Commercial Systems is excited to be part of Sikorsky’s modernization of the S-61 helicopter” said Roger J. Smith, General Manager, Cobham Commercial Systems, Mineral Wells. “We are proud to have been selected to enhance the mission performance of Sikorsky’s S-61T aircraft with Cobham’s intuitive 21st century cockpit.”
Cobham’s advanced avionics suite also includes an automatic direction finding system, a distance measuring system, an integrated digital audio/radio management system incorporating aft-cabin audio control. With integration of navigation, communications and warning systems that provide real-time information, Cobham’s avionics suite reduces pilot workload, enhances safety, and improves situational awareness. The modernized S-61T aircraft also offers its operators superior performance at a reasonable purchase price, with efficient operating costs and intrinsic resale value.
Cobham Commercial Systems makes helicopter and airplane flight safer, simpler, more efficient, and more comfortable from takeoff to landing. The business unit develops, deploys, and supports technologies for Civil General Aviation, Military, Search & Rescue, Law Enforcement, OEM, and retrofit markets around the world.
SAS is the worldwide aftermarket business of Sikorsky, a wholly-owned subsidiary of UTC. SAS provides comprehensive support to rotary and fixed wing aircraft throughout the world. It offers its military and commercial operators a full portfolio of support services, including material distribution, maintenance, overhaul & repair, aircraft modifications, and life-cycle support.
Sikorsky, based in Stratford, Connecticut, is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture, and service. UTC, based in Hartford, Connecticut, provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries worldwide.