Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. today announced the certification by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of a gross weight expansion (GWE) for the S-92® helicopter production configuration. The GWE increases the maximum take-off gross weight from 26,500 to 27,700 pounds allowing operators to carry an additional 1,200 pounds of payload. In addition to GWE, the FAA also certified Sikorsky’s S-92 helicopter integrated Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) II. The announcement was made at the 2015 Helicopter Association International Heli-Expo show. Sikorsky Aircraft is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).
GWE will be available as an option to S-92 helicopters that enter production in 2015 and GWE is retrofittable for all S-92 aircraft already in operation. Kits will be available for aircraft retrofits later this year.
Sikorsky is the first rotorcraft original equipment manufacturer to have a fully integrated Traffic Collision Avoidance System. TCAS II takes aircraft safety to the next level with the addition of visual actions that will be shown on the cockpit display as well as verbal guidance given to the pilot that advise actions to take to avoid a collision (ascend, descend, etc.).
“We recognized a customer need with Gross Weight Expansion and TCAS II, and have worked hard over the past four years to supply them with aircraft upgrades that will exceed their expectations,” said Audrey Brady, Director, S-92 Programs, Sikorsky Commercial Systems & Services. “By allowing an additional 1,200 pounds of payload, customers will be able to add a combination of passengers, cargo and fuel, granting them better efficiency. TCAS II increases the already outstanding safety of the aircraft and enhances the previous TCAS I option capability by providing resolution advisory.
Sikorsky has delivered more than 240 S-92 helicopters to customers throughout the world. In 2014, Sikorsky celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the S-92 helicopter, which was first delivered in 2004. The fleet has reached more than 800,000 flight hours, with over 90 percent of those hours providing offshore oil and gas worker transportation. S-92 helicopters also perform search and rescue missions, heads of state missions, and a variety of transportation missions for utility and airline passengers.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Connecticut, is a world leader in aircraft design, manufacture and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Connecticut, provides high technology products and services to the building and aerospace industries.