Sikorsky's commercial line of helicopters includes the commercial S-70 Black Hawk derivative, S-92 Helibus and the S-76. The S-70 Black Hawk derivative is presently in use in the marketplace. The S-92 Helibus is Sikorsky's newest medium lift helicopter. The S-76 is another aircraft, similar to the Black Hawk, developed for the commercial marketplace. Design of the commercial S-76 was begun during 1975, using scaled down rotor and tail components from the S-70 [the commercial version of the UH-60 Black Hawk].
Sikorsky's (S-76) H-76 Eagle was a Sikorsky funded proposal for a utility helicopter that could also be used in the attack role. Technology was based on the UH-60A Black Hawk. It was designed to function as troop carrier, MedEvac, and as an armed tank killer. It could be armed with 7.62mm gun pods, 2.75 inch rocket launchers or Hellfire anti-tank missiles. When equipped with the Hughes M65 mast-mounted sight it was also capable of firing the TOW wire-guided anti-tank missile system. Survivability designed into the H-76 included crew protective armor, redundant systems, and crash-worthy fuel tanks. The H-76 was powered by two Pratt & Whitney of Canada PT6B-36 960 shp engines.
The S-76 has the crisp lines and large, unobstructed cabin of a corporate jet. And speed (up to 178 mph) and range (450+ miles) to match. It features dual digital autopilot. Integrated avionics system. Flight management system. An all-glass cockpit. So you can fly in almost any weather. Composite construction gives the S-76 a light, strong, corrosion resistant airframe, to minimize maintenance and optimize fuel efficiency. Its advanced rotor design and high engine power offer pilots outstanding maneuverability in confined areas. The S-76 can move sideways at 40 mph. Holding a hover even in strong crosswinds. And thanks to low-vibration engineering, an elastomeric rotor system and titanium-spar rotor blades, the S-76 elevates speed and comfort to new levels.
By 2015 Sikorsky had delivered more than 800 S-76® helicopters to customers globally since 1979, contributing daily to a growing 6.6-million-plus fleet flight hours total. The new generation S-76D helicopter, through its application of modern technologies, is designed to provide a substantial increase in performance, power and value. The S-76D helicopter’s baseline equipment includes powerful and efficient Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210S engines; an advanced THALES TopDeck® integrated avionics system and four-axis autopilot; Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) incorporated into fleet monitoring and analysis; active vibration control; and all-composite, flaw-tolerant main rotor blades.
By 2016 the prospects of the medium-sized S-76D were uncertain. AgustaWestland’s competing AW139 model had over 680 orders over the cming decade, while Sikorsky had only 154 for the S-76, despite the introduction of a revamped D variant of the aircraft in 2013. The S-76 product had been around since the 1970s. The D appeared to be getting a lukewarm reception after teething problems and development delays. The process of gaining “acceptance in the marketplace" for the S-76D had been “a little slower" than Lockheed would have liked.
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