Third Sikorsky S-76D helicopter joins flight test program


“D3” prototype recently made its first flight and will be used to certify the avionics and electrical systems

“D3,” the third prototype, recently flew for the first time and joins the flight test programme to serve as the primary vehicle to certify the avionics and electrical systems. The S-76D helicopter flight test program has achieved more than 500 flight hours to-date with its first two prototypes. All three prototypes were assembled at the Sikorsky Global Helicopters facility in Coatesville.

“As the flight test program has grown, we have offered customers the opportunity to fly in the aircraft,” said Tim Fox, senior programme manager on the S-76 helicopter programme. “The S-76D helicopter offers a 14 percent increase in takeoff power and an 8 per cent fuel efficiency over its predecessor. It is a difference the customers have noticed.”

The S-76D also will be fully certified for flight into known icing, a first for the S-76 helicopter family.

“We continue to build on the outstanding legacy of safety and performance of the S-76 product family as we mature the S-76D through test. We are confident that the ‘D’ will be a strong competitor in its class when it enters into service next year,” Fox added.