Sikorsky S-76 Spirit helicopter: Aircraft profile

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The Sikorsky S-76 Spirit is a multi-purpose medium-size commercial helicopter. The S-76 is powered by two turboshafts, has a four-blade main and a four-blade tail rotor as well as a retractable landing gear.

Sikorsky S-76 Spirit: Sikorsky S-76 Air Ambulance lifting off from the helipad at University Hospital, London, Ontario. Photo (CC)  OntCopperSikorsky S-76 Spirit: Sikorsky S-76 Air Ambulance lifting off from the helipad at University Hospital, London, Ontario. Photo (CC) OntCopper

Development

The development of the machine began with Sikorsky in the middle of the 1970s. Target group were companies, which looked for a medium business helicopter, as well as the oil drilling industry. Sikorsky's development experiences from the UH-60 Black Hawk served as the basis for the S-74 (later renamed S-76 Spirit in honor of the US Bicentennial). which was able to transport 2 pilots and 12 passengers, received first two Allison 250 C30 turboshafts with 478 kW each. The prototype completed its first flight on March 13, 1977.

Sikorsky S-76 Spirit: A pair of Helijet's Sikorsky S76's at Vancouver Harbour. Photo (GNU)  Marek WozniakSikorsky S-76 Spirit: A pair of Helijet's Sikorsky S76's at Vancouver Harbour. Photo (GNU) Marek Wozniak

The S-76A was the first production variant. The type achieved 1982 several class records within the range climbing achievement, maximum speed and ceiling.

After the S-76A, the S-76 Mk II (1982), the S-76B in the year 1987 with a top speed of 155 knots at sea level.

Until December 2005 series was S-76C+ in production, which is equipped with Turboméca Arriel 2S1 engines with FADEC. Improved the cockpit was continued to equip with an EFIS suite from Honeywell. The tail rotor could be made quieter by modification. For comfort increase active noise and vibration dampers are used. The main rotor is now manufactured from composite materials.

Since January 3, 2006 the certified S-76 C++ has the more efficient Turboméca Arriel 2S2, an intake air filter, an improved and quieter transmission as well as changes of detail at the interior equipment and electronics. Altogether for the machine 92 orders of (1/2006).

S-76D is planned to be brought on the market in 2008.

Sikorsky S-76 Shadow: Boeing-Sikorsky S-76 SHADOW.Sikorsky S-76 Shadow: Boeing-Sikorsky S-76 SHADOW.

Variants

Civil

* S-76A : Original production version, powered by two 485-kW (650-shp) Rolls-Royce (Allison) 250-C30 turboshaft engines. Large number modified to S-76A+. 284 manufactured.

* S-76A Utility : Utility transport version, equipped with sliding doors and a strengthened floor.

* S-76A+ : Unsold S-76s were fitted with two Turbomeca Arriel 1S turboshaft engines. 17 manufactured.

* S-76A++ : S-76 helicopters fitted with two Turbomeca Arriel 1S1 turboshaft engines.

* S-76A Mk II : Improved all-weather transport version, fitted with a more powerful engines, and other detail improvements.

* S-76B : Powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6B36A turboshaft engines. 101 built.

* S-76C : Powered by two 539-kW (981-shp) Turboméca Arriel 1S1 turboshaft engines. 43 manufactured.

* S-76C+ : Uprated version, fitted with improved Arriel 2S1 turboshafts with FADEC. 35 manufactured.

* S-76C++ : Turboméca Arriel 2S2

* S-76D : Proposed version.

Sikorsky S-76 Spirit: A Royal Thai Navy (RTN) Sikorsky S-76B helicopter, is secured to the flight deck onboard the USS CURTS (FFG 38) during Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Exercise 2001. Photo: US Navy.Sikorsky S-76 Spirit: A Royal Thai Navy (RTN) Sikorsky S-76B helicopter, is secured to the flight deck onboard the USS CURTS (FFG 38) during Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Exercise 2001. Photo: US Navy.

Military

* AUH-76 : Armed utility transport version, developed from the S-76 Mk. II.

* H-76B : Military version of the S-76B.

* H-76N : Planned naval version of 1984, not implemented.

Experimental derivatives

Sikorsky S-75

The Advanced Composite Airframe Program (ACAP) was an all-composite Sikorsky early LHX proof of concept aircraft.

Sikorsky S-76 SHADOW

Boeing-Sikorsky MANPRINT study. The original concept of the LHX program was to produce a one-man helicopter that could do more than a two-man aircraft. The Sikorsky (S-76) Helicopter Advance Demonstrator of Operators Workload (SHADOW) had a single-pilot advanced cockpit grafted to its nose. The purpose was to study the MANPRINT or human engineering interface between the pilot and the cockpit controls and displays. The cockpit was the prototype of a single-pilot cockpit designed for use on the prototype RAH-66 Comanche armed reconnaissance helicopter. The cockpit was designed so sensors would feed data to the pilot through helmet mounted displays. The MANPRINT study determined that single-pilot operation of the Comanche was unsafe, and would result in pilot overload. As result of this study, the Comanche was designed to be operated by a crew of two. Operators

The S-76 is in use around the world with airlines, corporations, hospital, government operators and, notably, the British Royal Family. The first flight was conducted by Nick Lappos and John Dixson, Sikorsky Test Pilots, on March 13, 1977. The world's largest civilian fleet (79) of Sikorsky S-76 helicopters is operated by CHC Helicopter Corporation.

Specifications (Sikorsky S-76C++)

General characteristics

* Crew: Minimum 2 pilots
* Capacity: 12 passenger
* Length: 52 ft 6 in (16.0 m)
* Rotor diameter: 44 ft 0 in (13.41 m)
* Height: 14 ft 5.8 in (4.414 m)
* Disc area: 1520.53 ft² (141.26 m²)
* Empty weight: 7,005 lb (3,177 kg)
* Loaded weight: 11,700 lb (5,306 kg)
* Max takeoff weight: 11,700 lb (5,306 kg)
* Powerplant: 2× Turboméca Arriel 2S1 turboshafts free-turbine turboshafts, over 500 kW () each

Performance

* Maximum speed: 155 knots, 178 mph (287 km/h)
* Ferry range: 345 nm w/ 30 minute reserve (639 km w/ 30 minute reserve)

Source: wikipedia.org

More photos: Sikorsky S-76 Spirit photo gallery

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