LAS VEGAS, Nev., March 6, 2013 – Serving customers around the world in missions as diverse as the countries flying it, the S-92® global helicopter fleet has surpassed 500,000 flight hours. Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX), celebrated the milestone at the 2013 Heli-Expo Industry Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“The S-92 helicopter was conceived as a commercial aircraft with the heart of a BLACK HAWK and designed to meet the needs of the North Sea offshore market, and today, the S-92 helicopter is a well established, versatile aircraft that has become known for its reliability, comfort and safety features,” said Mick Maurer, Sikorsky President.
More than 90% of all S-92 hours today are flown in the offshore configuration, with 54% being flown in harsh North Sea conditions. Designers mandated FAR/JAR safety margins, on-condition maintenance and revenue-producing operating costs for commercial customers.
“In the nine years that the S-92 helicopter has been steadily carving its place in the large helicopter market segment, it has grown from the ‘new kid on the block’ proving its potential to a super performer in a variety of missions,” said Carey Bond, President of Sikorsky Global Helicopters.
“Sikorsky is proud of this fleet hour achievement by our S-92 for many reasons – among them are the lives it has saved through search and rescue, the countries that entrust it with the transport of their heads of state, and the service to the offshore oil industry in getting workers to their jobs and home again. Five hundred thousand flight hours is a testament to the reliability of the S-92 aircraft and to the loyalty, trust and commitment of our customers; and for all of that, Sikorsky is both proud and appreciative.”
The S-92 helicopter was introduced in mockup form in 1992 with an unveiling at the Heli-Expo industry show that year in Las Vegas, Nevada. It ultimately made its first flight in 1998 at Sikorsky’s Development Flight Center in Florida. PHI Inc. became its first commercial operator when it purchased the S-92 helicopter in 2004 to perform the offshore oil transport mission.
Today, PHI continues to operate a strong fleet of 24 S-92 helicopters. Al Gonsoulin, PHI Chief Executive Officer, said, “The S-92 is the deepwater aircraft of choice in the Gulf of Mexico; its range, payload and, most importantly, its reliability have greatly supported the expansion of drilling and exploration to some of the farthest points in the Gulf and Alaska. It is a solid performer, day in and day out.”
CHC Helicopter’s S-92 helicopters, now numbering 37 in the company’s worldwide fleet, have logged more than 150,000 hours of flight time – since 2005 for offshore transportation to the oil-and-gas industry, and since 2007 for search-and-rescue missions. “Every day in places around the globe, CHC is taking customers further, enabling them to do more and bringing them home safely,” said William Amelio, CHC’s president and chief executive officer. “Sikorsky and its S-92s are important to fulfilling that purpose.”
Bristow Group’s global fleet includes 49 S-92 helicopters that operate in the North Sea, Canada, Brazil, U.S. Gulf of Mexico and Nigeria. Additionally, Bristow has 18 S-92 helicopters on order and options for 16 more. Bristow’s S-92 fleet has logged over 155,000 hours in its operations in the North Sea, U.S. Gulf of Mexico and Nigeria. William Chiles, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “Bristow is the leading provider of helicopter services with an outstanding record in safety performance. We strive to provide operational excellence to our clients by providing the safest, most reliable and efficient service. The S-92 embodies these features as part of our global fleet.”
Sikorsky is marking the milestone by conducting celebrations with its customers. Events are planned in the coming months in the Gulf of Mexico, North Sea region, Brazil, and China. Sikorsky also is hosting an event at its booth at Heli-Expo on March 6 to recognize S-92 helicopter customers.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture, and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.