On August 8, Sikorsky Aircraft of Stratford, Conn., announced that the Federal Aviation Administration certified the V400 avionics software for the S-76D helicopter. The technology increases the capabilities of the twin-engine helicopter, allowing the aircraft to operate single-pilot under instrument flight rules.
According to the company, the V400 software, which can be installed by the customer, will "expand the avionics capabilities for functionalities such as single-pilot operation, weather overlays on a moving map display and other features that reduce pilot workload while enhancing the S-76D helicopter’s capabilities."
The S-76D is the latest variant of what is widely considered the world's first, luxury VIP helicopter. Its baseline equipment includes a pair of Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210S engines; the THALES TopDeck integrated avionics system and four-axis autopilot; a Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS); active vibration control; and all-composite main rotor blades.
“This certification provides our customers with innovative software that will improve their in-flight experience,” said Leon Silva, director, S-76 helicopter programs. “This software will provide the operators with enhanced safety capabilities and an even more reliable aircraft.”
Sikorsky has delivered more than 800 S-76 helicopters since that model line's introduction in 1979. Total flight operations for the fleet are estimated at 6.5 million hours.
Related: Airframe News