The Sikorsky S-92 Helibus is based on proven UH-60/SH-60 (S-70) family of helicopters. Sikorsky was working with customers in offshore oil support, airline and VIP/executive transport applications, and had proposed the S-92 for various international military utility helicopter programs. Sikorsky was actively marketing the S-92 for military requirements in Canada, Portugal and the Nordic Countries (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland). Sikorsky saw a market for at least 700 helicopters. The S-92 was the company's answer to the needs of users requiring greater payload and range characteristics than that provided by the H-60 series. Improvements included more powerful engines, capacity to seat 22 troops in the stretched cabin and a rear loading ramp.
The Sikorsky S-92 was selected to negotiate for the Nordic Standard Helicopter Program (NSHP) requirement for Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway with a 22 troop seat interior. The S-92 was also a finalist in the competition to fulfill the search and rescue (SAR) and fisheries patrol roles for Portugal's air force and the troop lift and SAR needs of the Royal Air Force of Oman. The S-92 was also being offered to meet an Irish Air Corps SAR requirement, competing against the EH-101, Eurocopter Cougar, Sikorsky S-92, Kaman Seasprite and the Kamov Ka-32. Sikorsky offered the S-92 as a replacement for Sea King helicopters currently in service with the Canadian Forces. Finalists in the Maritime Helicopter Project were the EH-101, Sikorsky S-92, AS.555 Super Puma. Canadian Forces planned to buy 28-32 maritime helicopters for C$2.9 billion. Like it's civil counterpart, the military configured S-92 features a large, stand-up cabin with a full cabin-width rear ramp.
The S-92 was acceptable for both civil and military applications because it was the first helicopter designed to the harmonized FAR/JAR Part 29 requirements and also incorporated the proven survivability, crashworthiness and maintainability features of the UH-60/SH-60 family of aircraft. For example, the fuel system and dynamic components meet the UH-60 ballistic tolerance requirements and all gearboxes are capable of running 30 minutes after loss of oil. The system redundancy is the same as the UH-60/SH-60 and corrosion protection meets or exceeds current navalization standards.
The aircraft features a large, stand-up cabin with a full cabin width rear ramp. Composite structure is incorporated in the design where justified by weight, durability and/or other considerations. The cockpit is designed for outstanding visibility and is equipped with a highly integrated flight avionics package. While borrowing features from the S-70 program, some S-92 components were designed for dual application. S-92 rotor blades, main rotor head, gearboxes, engines and automatic flight control system can also retrofit current S-70 aircraft, thus providing for future Black Hawk upgrades. The S-92 main rotor blade is wider and has a longer radius than that of an S-70. The tapered blade tip sweeps back and angles downward. This design reduces noise and increases lift.
Sikorsky offered the S-92 in two versions: a 19-passenger civil transport with airliner-like interior and commercial avionics and a utility transport with 22 side-facing seats. As to its carrying capacity, the S-92's spacious 733 cubic-foot interior cabin area can accept up to three airline-style LD-3 cargo containers. Additional stowage space is available in the large 140 cubic-foot area located in the aft ramp compartment.
The civil S-92 is designed to carry 19 passengers over ranges of 400 nautical miles. It has a metal and composite airframe and a highly integrated flight avionics package. Powered by twin General Electric CT7-8 turboshaft engines, it has a range of 400 nm with fuel reserves, a cruising speed of 151 kts, and a 15,000 ft service ceiling.
An international team of companies led by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation was developing the S-92. Members of the international team were: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan (Main cabin), Jingdezhen Helicopter Group of China (vertical tail surfaces), Gamesa of Spain (aft transmission tailcone and 'strongback' composite structure), Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation of Taiwan (flight deck and other parts), and Embraer of Brazil (sponsons, fuel cells and gauging systems). Sikorsky contributed gearboxes, rotor blades, transmission and drive system, and performs final assembly.
Major subcontractors included General Electric, Rockwell Collins and Hamilton Sundstrand. Rockwell Collins provided the core of an open-architecture avionics suite for processing aircraft system information. The data was shown on four Collins multi-function displays, with a fifth display to be offered as a customer option. Rockwell Collins also provided the radio and navigation equipment earmarked for delivery to initial civil customers of the S-92.
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