Three S-76D™ helicopter prototypes are in flight test at Sikorsky Aircraft’s Development Flight Center as the aircraft continues to mature in flight test and post excellent performance results.
Commercial Programs Director Dan Hunter said the S-76D prototypes have logged more than 850 flight hours to date, and first quarter 2012 activity has included the collection of successful certification data for lighting protection, cold weather performance, clearance into snow, and flight control system performance.”Avionics ground testing of the Thales glass cockpit is nearly complete, to be followed immediately by avionics flight testing,” Hunter added.
Two additional aircraft are slated to join the flight test program in May for targeted testing for final certifications and selected customer options.
An advanced helicopter, the S-76D features efficient Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210S engines, the industry-leading technology TopDeck® cockpit developed by Thales and new composite main and tail rotor blades with an optional Rotor Ice Protection System. These technologies, along with the aircraft’s performance, give the operator the best-in-class option in today’s under-12,500 pound helicopter class.
The S-76D is tracking to be “Best-in-Class” with regards to external noise by exhibiting a very quiet acoustic profile during test. This promises to exceed expectations for low noise in flight, (less than 88.5 db in flyover). This has been achieved at the higher 107% NR single rotor speed. Acoustics certification testing is expected to be completed in June.
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