The Technology Behind Sikorsky’s S-76D

With the S-76D, Sikorsky has taken a classic helicopter and made it state of the art by incorporating a long list of technology improvements that designers say will keep the 35-year-old design fresh for years to come. Here's a look at what's new.

Engines: Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210S

Incorporating the latest advances in compressor design technology and turbine materials, Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW210 turboshaft engine for the Sikorsky S-76D sets new standards in power-to-weight ratio and fuel consumption, yielding improved payload and range performance. The PW210 also incorporates a dual-channel, full-authority digital engine control (fadec) system with state-of-the-art diagnostics capability.

Model PW210S

Power 1,070 shp

Diameter 24 in

Length 43 in

Width 19.70 in

Height 23.50 in

RPM 6,000

Avionics: Thales TopDeck

Originally developed for the Airbus A380 super jumbo jet, the Thales TopDeck integrated avionics suite for the S-76D includes four 6- by 8-inch flat-panel displays, four-axis digital autopilot, dual integrated flight management systems and integrated electronic standby instrument.

Additional cockpit equipment includes Honeywell EGPWS terrain warning system, Honeywell Primus weather radar, advanced digital maps and provisioning for flight following, XM satellite datalink weather, and GPS RNAV WAAS LPV approach capability. The S-76D also features an improved electrical generation system.

The main pilot interface to the system is the S-76D’s trackball cursor-control devices mounted on the center pedestal between the pilots. A shallow menu structure is intended to ensure pilots are never more than two clicks from completing almost any function.

Rotor System: Composite Dual-Speed Rotors With Ice Protection

The Sikorsky S-76D’s main rotor has a wider chord and incorporates swept tips allowing the blades to generate more lift without an increase in power. The four-blade main rotor can operate in high- and low-speed modes for improved takeoff, hover and cruise performance and reduced noise. The system automatically switches from high to low speed and vice versa based on a set of predetermined airspeed and altitude criteria. The technology helps the S-76D fly up to 450 nautical miles on a single fill-up.

The S-76D also incorporates a “quietzone” main transmission;**** quiet tail rotor (QTR) technology with four enhanced flaw-tolerant, flexbeam composite rotor blades;**** and main and tail rotor ice protection system (RIPS), offered as an option for flight into forecast icing conditions. The RIPS system is a scaled down version of the icing protection system on the S-92 featuring heating mats embedded within the rotor blades.


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