Sikorsky Logs Milestones for S-76D, S-434
Two new Sikorsky civil helicopter programs–the S-76D and S-434–achieved significant milestones this week. The first S-76D production airframe, S/N 761004, was joined and entered the assembly line at Aero Vodochody in the Czech Republic. The completed airframe will be shipped to Sikorsky’s Coatesville, Pa. facility for final assembly in April. Subsequent S-76D airframes will be shipped from Aero Vodochody at the rate of one per month as production ramps up. Much of the S-76D is outsourced, including the engines, airframe, avionics and tail pylon. Initial customer deliveries are expected to begin in 2011. The S-76D is currently undergoing certification flight testing at Sikorsky West Palm Beach, Fla. Meanwhile, Sikorsky also delivered the first two S-434 training/utility helicopters. Both went to the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Interior (MOI). The S-434 is an improved version of the S-333 that incorporates the four-blade rotor system and other advances from the unmanned Fire Scout UAV. The military S-434s delivered to the MOI were the first delivered by Sikorsky and are not subject to FAA certification. Sikorsky expects FAA certification for the S-434 next year.