The S-92 is Sikorsky Helicopters newest aircraft. It’s a medium lift, twin engine helicopter that is an evolution of the H-60/70 series presently in service with the Army, Navy and Coast Guard. The S-92 was designed with civil and military operators in mind. Its missions include corporate shuttle, offshore oil support, transporting dignitaries and VIPs, law enforcement, and search and rescue.
Because of the wide range of missions, the civil version can be can be ordered in two different configurations, a transport version and a utility version. The transport version has an interior cabin similar to an airliner. It has 19 seats and is very spacious with a six-foot ceiling. It’s able to carry 19 passengers a range of 400 miles. The utility version has 22 side facing seats, a large rear cargo door/ramp for loading/unloading and is able to carry three airline style LD-3 containers with additional storage being available in the vicinity of the aft ramp compartment. Both versions are powered by two FADEC (full authority digital engine control) equipped General Electric CT7-8 turbo shaft engines.
The military version is called the H-92 Superhawk. It has more powerful engines and can be configured for specific mission requirements. For example, the search and rescue variant has space for seats, auxiliary fuel, litters, and SAR and emergency equipment.
The S-92 has an airframe built 40% from composite materials, the remaining 60% being metal. It has a four bladed main rotor with a tip that is swept back and angled downward to reduce noise and increase lift. The S-92 retains and improves the safety features of its parent the BlackHawk. It incorporates bird strike tolerance and engine burst containment. It uses an active vibration control system to ensure a comfortable flight. The low flight deck and cabin acoustic levels will allow for a quieter more relaxing ride.
The cockpit offers superb visibility for a helicopter of this size. The S-92 uses a Rockwell Collins glass cockpit, a very capable dual, four-axis automatic flight control system (autopilot) and an Avionics Management System (AMS). The glass cockpit contains a maintenance data computer and four LCD displays. The system allows the crew to more efficiently manage flight and navigation data, engine and systems operations, weather radar and terrain information.
The S-92 has a crew of two pilots. It has a maximum speed of 190 mph and a service ceiling of 15,000 ft.
The S-92 first flew in December of 1998. It received FAA certification in December 2002 and the first aircraft was delivered to PHI (Petroleum Helicopters Inc.) in September of 2004.
The S-92 has been purchased by a number of different companies in a variety of industries. Its ability to perform a wide variety of missions will keep it in demand far into this century.