Sikorsky Pushes Technology, Pedigree With H-92 Bid
The latest technology and a combined military-civil pedigree are the key advantages of Sikorsky's H-92 contender for the U.S. Air Force's Combat Search-and-Rescue-X (CSAR-X) competition, which is marching toward contract award in September. Its CSAR-X demonstrator is shown here. "The aircraft brings together the best technology from the military and commercial sides," said Mike Farage, Sikorsky's director of Air Force programs, including the heritage of the H-60 and H-53 and the commercial S-92, some of which are now racking up hundreds of hours a month of service in the harsh North Sea offshore environment. Farage is a former USAF rotary- and fixed-wing pilot and special-operations wing commander. He said the basic aircraft was designed to some of the latest civil airworthiness standards as well as the high operational reliability requirements of commercial operators.
Based on the S-92 variant Canada selected for its Maritime Helicopter Program, the CSAR-X contender's modifications include a slot on the inboard starboard sponson to permit stowage of a sliding forward-cabin door and a gun position mounted outside the cabin on that sponson to give a gunner the requisite 75-deg.-down field of fire. Other gun positions are the forward door and portside window and on the aft ramp. The smallest of the CSAR-X contenders, the H-92 is "the right size for the mission," Farage said.