Sikorsky announces S-92A+ and S-92B
Lockheed-owned helicopter company Sikorsky has unveiled two new variants of its popular S92 helicopter – the S-92A+ and the S-92B.
The S-92A+ will be a re-designation of the current S-92s on the market after undergoing modification and the S-92B is an entirely newly-produced aircraft.
Both aircraft will share almost identical configurations but with the S92B featuring a larger cabin window and cabin door suitable for offshore and SAR configurations.
The S-92A+ re-configuration and S-92B are expected to hit the market in 2022.
Audrey Brady, Sikorsky vice president, commercial systems & services said: “Our S-92 aircraft has set the standard for modern helicopters, and we’re excited with these changes that will ensure it remains so. Reliability means safety. Reliability means economics.
“With these updates and an unmatched cabin size and capacity, our customers will see an economic benefit demonstrating that the S-92 is the best choice in helicopter missions near or far.”
Both aircraft will feature reliability and operating-cost reduction as well as increase the commonality between offshore, SAR and utility configurations, allowing for fast reconfiguration between roles – a benefit in a down oil-and-gas market.
One of the biggest changes is the introduction of the new MATRIX computing platform – which allows for autonomous landing and SuperSearch, an object locator that allows objects in the sky to be located faster. They will also feature a newly designed interior that is lighter and suitable for both SAR and offshore oil missions
On the hardware side, both platforms feature an engine upgrade option to fit GE CT7-8A6 engines which are capable of producing more power at higher altitudes and in hotter temperatures.
The S92 platform was purpose designed for the oil-and-gas market and still remains one of the go-to aircraft for this sector “When we built the S92, we built it to have utility in the oil-and-gas market. If you think about the purpose and intended utilisation, it is to transport passengers offshore.” Said David Martin, Sikrosky’s Vice President of oil and gas to Helicopter Investor in January.
However, changes to the two new variants are intended to make the aircraft more appealing to SAR customers. Whilst Sikorsky is still focused on supporting oil and gas and its existing customers in the market, it makes sense to ensure that the main helicopter platform is also viable for use in other markets in the oil-and-gas downturn.
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