Showing posts with label Sikorsky. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sikorsky. Show all posts

05 March, 2024

No technical faults found in preliminary investigation of S-76 Norway crash.

No technical faults have been found on the Bristow Helicopters Sikorsky S-92  that was involved in a crash in Norway at the end of last month, investigators report.

The bulk of the helicopter was recovered on 1st March along with the flight recorders which were sent to the UK's Civil Aviation Authority. They have since been downloaded successfully according to the Norwegian Safety Investigation Authority (NSIA) which confirmed the investigation is continuing.  

The NSIA warned the investigation was still at an early stage, advising it was “too early to draw any conclusions” however, thus far it “has not observed any technical fault which contributed to the accident”. The NSIA added, “We have downloaded data and it is currently being analysed. We have had interviews with some of the crew from the helicopter,”.

The accident happened during a training search and rescue flight, approximately 15 nautical miles west of Bergen, Norway.  The helicopter, registration LN-OIJ, was operating with six crew members onboard at the time of the incident. One fatality was confirmed on the day of the crash and the other five crew members have suffered varying levels of injuries. 

Bristow Helicopters stated "Our thoughts are with all those affected during this incredibly difficult period. At this time, the full resources of Bristow’s incident response team are being mobilized. The company is in the process of contacting and providing assistance to family members of those onboard and fully cooperating with authorities responding to the incident. Our highest priority is to take care of our crew and their family members and provide them with any assistance needed."

Flight Global reports that images of the wreckage indicate the main rotor and tail rotor were spinning at the time of impact. The S-92 was fitted with automatic floats which should deploy in events of this kind, however, images of LN-OIJ show these floats had not deployed.

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05 October, 2023

Rain and Sikorsky Collaborate to Advance Rapid Response Capabilities for Aerial Wildland Firefighting

The two companies will demonstrate how an uncrewed BLACK HAWK® helicopter with Rain’s Wildfire Mission Autonomy System could respond rapidly to suppress incipient wildfires.

-Rain, a leader in aerial wildfire containment technology, and Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, announced this week at the UP.Summit a collaboration to explore how Sikorsky’s MATRIX™ autonomy suite operating with Rain’s Wildfire Mission Autonomy System can launch uncrewed helicopters to drop water on wildfires within minutes of detection.

“Combining Sikorsky’s demonstrated mature vehicle autonomy system with Rain’s early response capability will show how an uncrewed BLACK HAWK® or FIREHAWK® helicopter can quickly take off, fly to a suspected ignition, and drop water to suppress a wildfire in its incipient stage with no human onboard,” said Rain CEO Maxwell Brodie. ”Ultimately, Rain envisions equipping fire agencies with the capability to strategically position a future fleet of firefighting aircraft capable of receiving and carrying out mission commands.”

This collaborative effort will use Rain's Wildfire Mission Autonomy System to upload mission commands to Sikorsky’s Optionally Piloted BLACK HAWK helicopter with no crew on board for the fastest response time.

Brodie pointed to research showing that a 15-minute reduction in wildfire response times could generate $3.5 to $8.2 billion in economic benefits annually for the state of California alone.

Developed for more than a dozen years by Sikorsky Innovations, an advanced engineering group within Sikorsky, the MATRIX system combines a platform-agnostic software and hardware suite, including sensors, to ensure an aircraft flown with reduced crew or uninhabited can fly reliably and safely in low-level and obstacle-rich terrain. Even with no humans on board, an aircraft with the MATRIX system does not require a remote pilot or ground controller to command the mission via datalink, nor waypoints to navigate.

03 June, 2022

Flexjet adds private helicopter division featuring Sikorsky S-76s

Flexjet has launched its private helicopter division, integrating Associated Aircraft Group (AAG), which was acquired by parent Directional Aviation, into the Flexjet family. Flexjet will extend complimentary helicopter hours to its Gulfstream G650 fractional owners, and will sell add-on fractional, lease and charter access in Flexjet-branded Sikorsky S-76 helicopters. 

The new division will provide on-demand transportation regionally as well as last-mile transport for owners of Flexjet aircraft travelling from airports to their final destinations, a unique door-to-door travel solution not available through any other provider in the U.S.

Flexjet’s Eli Flint has been promoted to President of the Flexjet private helicopter division, leading the nearly 50 former AAG sales managers, mechanics, operations team members and pilots. He brings more than 25 years of aviation experience to this new role. The division is expected to grow domestically and in Europe over the next five years as point-to-point vertical aviation demand increases worldwide.

“Flexjet’s new helicopter division enhances our position as the leader in combining fixed-wing operations and private urban mobility in the U.S. This distinguishes us as the only operator in our industry to offer seamless travel,” said Flexjet Chief Executive Officer Michael Silvestro. “Today, more and more travellers are seeking an alternative to crowded forms of transportation – opting instead for easier, safer and less stressful options from beginning to end. In addition, this enhanced segment of the Flexjet experience allows our clients to become even more productive with their time.”

Born out of the innovation of Red Label, Flexjet’s private helicopter division is the next revolutionary step in offering private aviation solutions for the world’s most discerning travellers. Flexjet will reimagine what private aviation travel can be – from the safety of flying managed fleets to the packaging of end-to-end flight solutions – offering a differentiator in the fractional jet market competitors will not be able to duplicate. In addition, Flexjet’s helicopter operations will be environmentally responsible: The company upholds a 4AIR Bronze Sustainability + SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuel) Rating.

The Flexjet fleet will now include the Sikorsky S-76, one of the most respected and longest running-production helicopters, with a heritage of more than 40 years and 7.5 million hours of safe flight. These private helicopters will be outfitted with a seating configuration for up to six passengers plus two pilots. The aircraft can fly at 155 knots per hour and has a range of 300 nautical miles.

Flexjet helicopter operations will be seasonally located in the Northeastern states and in Florida throughout the year providing connections between airports and city centres as well as short-haul regional destinations such as conventions, music festivals and other sport and entertainment events.

“I know how important this time-saving program will be to Flexjet’s busy fractional jet Owners and I am proud to lead this group of aviation professionals,” said Flint, who is type rated in several business jets and until recently was a leader in private jet sales for Flexjet working in the Southeast market. “I also want to assure our Owners that, since safety is the highest priority at Flexjet, the helicopter division will have the same level of oversight, resources and industry credentials as our jet fleet.”

Some helicopter safety elements include:

Each helicopter has a series of double redundancies for enhanced safety with twin engines, dual autopilot systems and two S-76-certified, highly trained Flexjet pilots.
The helicopter Safety Management System (SMS), through Baldwin Safety, includes a preflight risk assessment program, a hazard reporting system and a customized landing zone survey conducted for off-airport operations, allowing Owners additional flexibility in their flying.
The helicopter division has the same operational oversights for weather and performance planning as Flexjet’s jet program, with conservative margins designed for safety and peace of mind.

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Make your arrival known in the perfect combination of grace and power. With record-setting aeronautic capabilities, dual-redundancy safety systems, and a robust twin-engine design, the Sikorsky S-76 is generously equipped to handle all mission duties with ease.

The Flexjet Sikorsky S-76 showcases a spacious, noise and vibration-cancelling, intuitively designed cabin within the LXi Cabin Collection™. You will be welcomed by an inviting interior of supple, sophisticated upholstery which Flexjet Owners have come to know and expect.
Flexjet has enhanced the experience of the Sikorsky S-76’s smooth ride and quiet cabin for our Owners. Seamless, serene, and above all else, smartly capable. You will receive an elevated flight experience, featuring finely choreographed details, sophisticated touchpoints, and exceptional service synonymous with all our aircraft.

In the cabin

8’ 1” Ground-to-blade safety clearance for entrance
Inviting, accessible seating for up to 6 passengers
Maximized baggage capacity: 38 ft3 (cubic feet) (e.g., 4 standard golf bags + duffels)
Non-slip, easy, step-up boarding
Pilot access partition
54” Floor to ceiling for premium headroom
27” Legroom for reclining freedom
Custom LXi interiors and cabin configuration
Noise-reducing cabin panels
Cooled refreshment storage console
Flat floors for pet comfort and safety

Stats & figures. 

Cabin Length  8' 0"
Cabin Height  4' 6"
Cabin Width   5' 6"
Baggage Capacity  38 ft3
Overall Length  52' 6"
Dual 4-Blade Rotors
8' 1" Blade Safety Clearance
Cabin Door   3' 1" x 4' 4"
Cruising Speed  155 knots
Range   300 NM
Endurance  2 hrs 30 min
Cruising Altitude   4000 ft
Twin-Turbine Engine


14 March, 2022

Blackhawk helicopters to become Firehawks.........Changing the role of the S70.....

Sikorsky and United Rotorcraft have agreed on a deal that formalizes how both companies will collaborate to meet growing global interest in the S-70 FIREHAWK helicopter. 

An S-70 BLACK HAWK aircraft becomes a FIREHAWK helicopter when United Rotorcraft adds a 1,000-gallon (3,785-liter) water tank system, a raised landing gear, which is needed to accommodate the tank, plus associated integrated avionics. This is a process that typically takes six months and in months to come the firm will also offer composite water tanks in addition to the current aluminium ones. 

The agreement will enable the team to identify demand, and more quickly build and configure new production FIREHAWK helicopters for government agencies worldwide that require a highly effective solution to attack increasingly deadly wildland fires.  

“This agreement addresses a critical need to deliver the proven FIREHAWK helicopter into customer's hands in months not years,” said Jason Lambert, vice president, Sikorsky Global Commercial & Military Systems. “United Rotorcraft and Air Methods have taken a leadership position to advance the availability of this proven aircraft in anticipation of future orders from U.S. and international markets. This proactive approach is one that we readily support to meet future demand. Doing so also honors our founder Igor Sikorsky, whose vision that the helicopter be a unique instrument for saving human lives continues to be fulfilled.”

The agreement will allow United Rotorcraft to contract for bulk orders of S-70 Black Hawk® aircraft, much as it did in August 2021 with an initial five-aircraft order from Sikorsky. Four of the five aircraft will arrive at United Rotorcraft’s Englewood, Colorado completions facility this year from the S-70 production line at PZL Mielec, a Lockheed Martin company in Poland. The first aircraft of the bulk order will be modified to the FIREHAWK configuration for delivery in 2023 to the State of Colorado.

“The success of the Firehawk helicopter in California to attack and suppress wildfires in their initial stage has spurred fire agencies globally to evaluate this unique asset, both as a firefighting tool and a multi-mission aircraft for year-round rescue and medical assistance,” said Larry Alexandre, United Rotorcraft president. “Federal, state and local legislatures facing wildfire threats are more likely to authorize an aircraft purchase if the aircraft is readily available. With Sikorsky’s assistance as aircraft manufacturer, United Rotorcraft and Air Methods are bringing the world’s most efficient medium-lift firefighting helicopter to the market at a speed not previously seen.”

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14 January, 2020

Sikorsky and Rheinmetall bid for production and operation of the Sikorsky CH-53K 'king Stallion' heavy lift helicopter.

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company and Rheinmetall representing the German industry team, submitted the bid for the production and operation of the Sikorsky CH-53K (“King Stallion”) as the Bundeswehr’s new heavy-lift transport helicopter for its “Schwerer Transporthubschrauber” (STH) program.

“Our entire team is pleased to offer the CH-53K: the most efficient, capable and intelligent helicopter that will deliver the best long-term value to the Bundeswehr through the 21st century,” said Beth Parcella, CH-53K International Business Development Director.

Sikorsky and Rheinmetall formed a STH project team of more than 10 German companies, which includes MTU Aero Engines, Autoflug GmbH and Hydro Systems KG. The team will benefit from a significant workshare and a high degree of technological cooperation and will offer Germany excellent reliability in maintaining and using this platform.

13 December, 2019

Sikorsky Donates S-76 Airframe To The American Helicopter Museum And Education Centre

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, has announced this week the donation of its S-76® airframe to the American Helicopter Museum and Education Center. The airframe was delivered this week by employees from the Sikorsky Coatesville, Pa. facility, where it received a make-over into its original VIP customer configuration in preparation for its forever home.

The airframe was created to be a realistic full-scale static display helicopter to showcase the S-76D™ model before its release. During its lifespan, the airframe has traveled across the globe on tradeshow assignments and had also been displayed at educational STEM events. Most recently, this S-76 wore a different outer skin and was shown as Sikorsky’s Autonomy Research Aircraft, nicknamed SARA. The helicopter helped educate people about Sikorsky’s autonomy capabilities and MATRIX™ Technology, which will allow future aircraft to operate with two, one or no pilots. Now that the S-76D helicopter has been in production for some time, the airframe will be put into a full-time educational role at the museum.

Sikorsky and United Rotorcraft Deliver Three FIREHAWK Helicopters to California Firefighting Agencies

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company and United Rotorcraft, a division of Air Methods Corporation, announced deliveries of three new S-70i FIREHAWK helicopters to California fire agencies: one each to the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD), and the City of San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

Configured by United Rotorcraft with a newly designed 1,000-gallon water tank attached to the belly of the aircraft; an extended landing gear to accommodate the tank; a retractable snorkel that can refill the tank in less than one minute; and a rescue hoist, the Firehawk helicopters will allow fire crews to attack wildfires, transport up to 12 ground firefighters to the fire line, and rescue firefighters and civilians when in need.

05 July, 2019

Milestone Expands World’s Largest S-92 Fleet

The Milestone Aviation Group Limited (“Milestone”), today announced the acquisition of an incremental Sikorsky S-92A aircraft, MSN 920155, bringing their total S-92A fleet to 79 units. As the largest owner of the S-92A globally, the purchase illustrates Milestone’s ongoing commitment to the type, which is the primary aircraft servicing the offshore oil and gas industry as well as serving search & rescue and executive transport.

Referring to the recent acquisition, Pat Sheedy, Managing Director of Portfolio and Underwriting at Milestone, stated that “The S-92A is the cornerstone of our Oil and Gas portfolio and, given the size and scale of our fleet, we believe we are uniquely positioned to manage these assets and provide optimal fleet & support solutions for our customers and the overall industry. We continue to look to expand our S-92A portfolio where we see attractive opportunities in the secondary market.”  

21 May, 2019

Sikorsky receives new contract to build 12 CH-53K heavy lift helicopters for the US Navy

Photo US Navy
Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company will build 12 production CH-53K King Stallion helicopters under a new $1.13 billion contract from the US Navy, it was announced recently.

Under the terms of the contract, known as Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot 2 and 3, Sikorsky will begin deliveries of 12 CH-53K helicopters in 2022, provide spares and logistical support. 

"I'm proud of the joint government and industry team in achieving this award," said Col. Jack Perrin, U.S. Marine Corps program manager for the Naval Air Systems Command's Heavy Lift Helicopters program, PMA-261.