Sikorsky Search and Rescue (SAR) S-92® helicopters are on a path to unprecedented success in 2010 after coming off a record year of rescues in 2009 and recently being selected for the United Kingdom’s Search and Rescue Helicopter service. The aircraft are operated by CHC Helicopter Corp. and the S-92 helicopter is manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).
On Feb. 1, the U.K. Ministry of Defence and Department of Transportation selected the Soteria Consortium as the preferred bidder to provide turnkey helicopter services in the United Kingdom well into the 21st century. Sikorsky Aircraft, which manufactures the S-92 helicopter, is a member of the Soteria team, along with CHC, Thales and the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Sikorsky S-92 helicopters operating in the U.K. had a record year of rescues in 2009, performing 295 missions. CHC Search and Rescue currently operates four SAR S-92 helicopters from two bases covering territory in the North Atlantic and the North Sea. In Stornoway, Western Isles, Scotland, the Stornoway team had their busiest year since search and rescue (SAR) operations began there in 1987, conducting 183 rescue missions, while missions flown out of Sumburgh, Shetland Isles, Scotland, totaled 112. Aircraft technical availability at both bases has been 98 percent.
“Sikorsky is very proud of the way its S-92 helicopter has performed in the search and rescue mission, particularly in the U.K. during the last few years under the operation of CHC for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency,” said Carey Bond, President, Sikorsky Global Helicopters. “The record of its rescue work continues to grow, and we look forward to writing yet another page in Sikorsky Aircraft history through the collaboration we will have in the Soteria Consortium.”
Sikorsky initially developed the S-92 helicopter for over-water search and rescue in demanding and challenging environments such as the North Sea and North Atlantic, where the MCA is in service. In the first full year of SAR services at the two bases, the SAR S-92 helicopters completed 172 and 109 missions at Stornoway and Sumburgh, respectively. The MCA contract began in 2007.
The S-92 aircraft is the first helicopter in its class certified to the latest U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and European airworthiness safety standards. The S-92 helicopter features a Rotor Ice Protection System (RIPS), which allows the aircraft to operate in known icing conditions. RIPS has been certified by both North American and European aviation authorities and is available on S-92 helicopter military variants as well as commercial aircraft.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., USA, is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., USA, provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.
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