Sikorsky’s S-76D has moved one step closer to certification after Pratt & Whitney’s PW210S engine that powers the helicopter received Transport Canada certification. More than 8,700 hours of testing were conducted to complete the certification. But the testing will continue to finish FAA and European Aviation Safety Agency validations, which are expected within the next few months.
“We have conducted a robust test program to ensure that this engine is ready to enter service, so this is a key milestone in the development of the S-76D helicopter,” said Tim Fox, S-76 helicopter senior program manager.
No performance numbers have been released yet for the S-76D, but Fox claims it will outperform its predecessor by 14 percent in takeoff power and 8 percent in fuel efficiency. The S-76D will also be the first in the S-76 helicopter family to be certified for flight into known icing.
The S-76D was designed for civil missions such as emergency medical transport services, executive transport and offshore oil operations. Certification for the S-76D helicopter is planned for the first quarter of 2012.