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New helicopters for offshore, search and rescue and transportation configurations were recently launched. Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, announced new plans for its S-92 helicopter line that will re-designate fielded helicopters as the S-92A+ after modification, and newly produced aircraft as the S-92B. The two variants will share a nearly identical configuration, with S-92B helicopters also featuring enlarged cabin windows and plans for a common cabin door suitable for offshore and SAR configurations.
The S-92 helicopter boasts a best-in-class safety record and sets the industry standard for reliability. These changes to the venerable S-92 helicopter will introduce new technology that is focused on reliability and operating cost reduction, while at the same time delivering increased capability.
General Electric’s CT7-8A6 engine, capable of producing more power in higher altitudes and hotter temperatures, also will be available as an option for both the S-92A+ and S-92B products.
Changes will increase commonality of the aircraft between the offshore, SAR, and utility configurations and allow for speedier reconfiguration between roles, making it an even better choice for operators that want a diverse aircraft capable of multiple missions.
Sikorsky’s S-92 helicopter fleet update will include the introduction of phase one MATRIX technology that will bring advanced computing power to the platform. This foundation enables adoption of autonomous landing technology such as Rig Approach 2.0 and a new technology from Sikorsky’s Innovations lab called SuperSearch that uses advanced algorithms to locate objects up to 30 percent faster.
The industry standard for safety and reliability, according to the company’s announcement, the S-92 helicopter is the preferred aircraft of its size class for offshore oil worker transportation. In 2018, the fleet flew 175,000 hours, a record for the fleet, contributing to a total of nearly 1.5 million hours flown.
“Our S-92 aircraft has set the standard for modern helicopters, and we’re excited with these changes that will ensure it remains so,” said Audrey Brady, Sikorsky Vice President, Commercial Systems & Services. “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.”
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