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Sikorsky S-58ET
Sikorsky S-61N
Sikorsky S-76A / B / C
D-HULK Sikorsky S-76A++ c/n 760282 - HeliService international / HeliJet Charter - Flugplatz Emden in Germany - 27 August 2014 Flugplatz Emden (EDWE)

The Sikorsky S-76 Spirit is a twin-engine medium utility helicopter that can accommodate a basic crew of two and up to 13 passengers. The Sikorsky S-76 helicopter is mainly used for cargo and passenger transport to oil platforms, in V.I.P. version and emergency. In 1975, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation started the development of the Sikorsky S-74 medium lift helicopter for the offshore/ oil support sector. The S-74 was subsequently redesignated the S-76 in honor of the U.S. Bicentennial. Sikorsky's design work on the military S-70 helicopter (selected for use by the United States Army as the UH-60 Black Hawk) was utilized in the development of the S-76, incorporating S-70 design technology in its rotor blades and rotor heads. The first prototype S-76A, powered by two Allison 250C30S turbo shafts, flew on 13 March 1977. The FAA certification (TCDS H1NE) was achieved on 21 November 1979 and deliveries started the same year. 284 Sikorsky S-76A helicopters were manufactured, a large number were modified to S-76A+. The Sikorsky S-76B with the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6B engines was flown first on 22 June 1984. Deliveries started in 1987 and the final S-76B was delivered in December 1997, with 101 S-76Bs built. In June 1989, the Model S-76C, fitted with Turboméca Arriel 1S1 engines, was announced. The Sikorsky S-76C flew first on 18 May 1990 and FAA certification was achieved on 15 March 1991. The Sikorsky S-76C++ helicopter was the version in production until 2011. Its main feature is the Arriel engine, which gives excellent single-engine performance as well as good range. In 2011, with aircraft number 882, the last S-76C++ closed out that production progam. The last development of the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter was the S-76D. The S-76D helicopter featured all-composite main rotor blades, Pratt & Whitney PW210S engines and Thales TopDeck avionics. FAA approved Type Certification for the S-76D helicopter on 12 October 2012. Sikorsky delivered the first S-76D aircraft to Bristow Group, Inc. for offshore oil worker transport in December 2013. Until 2020, Keystone / Sikorsky built over 1000 S-76 helicopters in various models. The Sikorsky S-76D helicopter was the last version built. Sikorsky took the decision to end domestic production of the S-76 following an FAA mandate that all new-production helicopters be equipped with crash-resistant fuel systems.
On 6 November 2015, Lockheed Martin completed for $9 billion the acquisition of Sikorsky Aircraft, replacing United Technologies as Sikorsky Aircraft’s parent company.

The 1985-built Sikorsky S-76A s/n 760282 was registered N63WW in the USA. After the Sikorsky was re-registered N92RP, the helicopter was registered N92RR on 15 June 1992. After the aircraft was sold to Sweden for use on SAR-operations, the helicopter was modified to an EMS-helicopter and upgraded into a S-76A++ by Keystone Helicopter Corporation. On 10 December 1998, registration N92RR was cancelled and the aircraft was registered SE-JUZ in Sweden on 28 December 1998. The SE-JUZ entered service with Norrlandsflyg, Gällivare, on 7 January 1999. After the aircraft was sold to Germany, registration SE-JUZ was cancelled on 22 January 2010. The S-76A++ was registered D-HULK with HeliJet Charter, Langenfeld, as operator and SILAG AG, Kassel/Calden as owner, on 3 February 2010. In service with HeliJet Charter, the helicopter kept its rescue hoist. Since December 2012, the D-HULK was operated by HeliService international GmbH, Emden, to transport people and equipment from/to the offshore windfarms. The helicopter is leased from HeliJet Charter, Langenfeld, and sub-leased from SILAG AG. Early 2016, the tail section of the helicopter was damaged in a landing incident in Poland. Sikorsky S-76A+++ D-HULK returned to Germany where the helicopter was stored, first at Dortmund and later at Kassel-Calden. On 29 June 2019, the Sikorsky S-76A+++ was registered N282S in the US with Arrow Aviation Company LLC, Lafayette, Louisiana.

page last updated: 15-07-2019
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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