On July 12, 2007, Changhe Aircraft Industries Group Co., Ltd. (Changhe Aircraft) and Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation (Sikorsky) held a grand signing ceremony of Collaboration Agreement For S-76C++ Helicopters in Beijing. S-76C++ cooperation program includes the manufacture and assembly for the assemblies and major assemblies of the fuselage and partial final assembly, subsequent modification for this model are also included in this agreement. This program represented the highest work share and highest technical content over any other subcontract programme in China at that time. Two phases are included in this agreement and the first phase is transitional stage, which Changhe Aircraft will complete major assembly, fuselage assembly and partial final assembly with the kits purchased directly; detail parts fabrication and sub-assembly are added in the second phase on the basis of the first phase.
S-76C++ is modified and derived from S76 helicopter designed in the late 1970s through continuous design and manufacture for almost thirty years by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. S76 helicopter has the high reputation of safe operation for almost thirty years and accumulative flight of more than 4,000,000 flight hours, and it has the largest share of market for the helicopters in its class. At present, more than 650 of S-76 family helicopters have been sold in the world. The max take-off weight of S76 is 5.3 ton. Compared with the same ton helicopters, S76 has excellent safety performance and reliability, lower operation cost and higher cost-effectiveness.
Compared with the last generation of S-76C+, the S-76C++ features two Arriel 2S2 engines with more additional power, delivering improved performance in hot or high conditions, and adding 158-203 kilogram payload. A dual Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) system with electronic backup creates triple redundancy and further enhances performance and safety. A new engine barrier filtration system protects the valuable engines from dirt and foreign object damage, and reduces operating cost and maintenance requirements with no loss of power, which make S-76C++ helicopter has the capability to safely fly in the snowing days.
The S-76C++ also adds Quiet Zone technology to the main transmission and the Silencer interior, which create a more comfortable working and flying environment for crews and passengers. A rotor brake that is unique to the S-76C++ can stop the main and tail rotors with engines running for enhanced safety, which can avoid any possible air pollution for patients at the time of provision of emergency medical service.
S-76C++ can be widely used in the offshore oil operation, SAR, executive transport, passenger transport, EMS, law enforcement, Cargo transport or slinging operation.
By January 2010 Changhe had completed its first Sikorsky S-76C++ airframe at its plant near Shanghai, which was shipped to Sikorsky's Coatesville, Pa. plant for completion. Changhe anticipated manufacturing more S-76 airframes during the year.
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