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End of the 76?

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End of the 76?

Old 15th Mar 2022, 02:18
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End of the 76?

mid lackluster sales and costly new certification requirements, Sikorsky is no longer accepting orders for the S-76D, effectively shutting down the 45-year-old medium helicopter program.At the same time, Sikorsky is evaluating potential partnerships to set up license production overseas. Announcing the move at the Helicopter Association International’s Heli-Expo 2022 in Dallas, Jason Lambert, Sikorsky vice president for Global Military and Commercial Systems, said, “We’re currently assessing partnerships with international companies to continue the legacy of the aircraft platform.

“Although we currently have in production in Oswego, New York, one VIP and two search-and-rescues configured as S-76Ds, we’re not currently taking orders for new S-76Ds at this time,” Lambert said. “With that though, we remain committed to our customers and operators through our aftermarket and sustainment services.”

While describing the S-76D as a “phenomenal performer in a niche market,” Lambert said the aircraft has not stood up to the competition as well as the company hoped. In addition, he noted that “we received a ruling from the FAA that essentially said that any aircraft that had a certificate of airworthiness applied after April 2020 had to have a crashworthy fuel tank system. Now the 76’s safety record is incredibly strong. We’ve got over 800 aircraft out there that have been delivered. But the business case to put a crashworthy fuel system on that particular aircraft, frankly, with the demand we were seeing, didn’t justify the investment.”

Lambert added high manufacturing and supply-chain costs associated with the S-76D also were key factors. “It’s a hard product for us to build and deliver profitably,” he said. “With that, we still see a future in the platform. We know there’s global customer demand for the platform, and so we’re talking to international partners about licensing opportunities where we would license IP and we would provide technical assistance and support for the international party to do the production and manufacturing.”

The S-76 first flew in 1977 and entered service in 1979. More than 800 have been sold across several variants, the latest of which was the reengined S-76D. Deliveries started in 2013, although sales never matched expectations, the company said. “I don’t think we . . . can say we achieved what we desired with the strategy we set out for the S-76D,” Lambert explained.
https://aviationweek.com/business-av...uction-partner
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Old 15th Mar 2022, 03:10
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I'm not surprised at all, congrats to them for such a long-running airframe. And effectively it's the end of their commercial / medium product line from what I can see. Maybe they have something new in the works or will stay purely a para/military provider.
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Old 15th Mar 2022, 03:18
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S76D-An old tart in a new dress.
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Old 15th Mar 2022, 20:44
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Originally Posted by Nescafe View Post
S76D-An old tart in a new dress.
An attractive one nonetheless… had a few trips in one round the Southern North Sea when the other options were the WG30 and the venerable SK61, Sikorsky were definitely the pax favourites even if the 76 was a bit tight in the back.
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Old 16th Mar 2022, 03:09
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Will always be my favorite!!!
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Old 16th Mar 2022, 06:28
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Great machine. Took s/n 12 around the world from and to my front lawn here in Sydney.

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Old 16th Mar 2022, 06:46
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Took s/n 12 around the world
With a lot of help from Peter Verhagen?
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Old 16th Mar 2022, 07:55
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Yep. The S76 required 3 hours of maintenance per flight hour!
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Old 16th Mar 2022, 12:22
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I cannot agree with Nescafe`s disdainful dismissal of the S76D as an old tart in a new dress. Ever since its introduction in 1979 the S76 airframe has suffered at the hands of inept management and bizarre marketing initiatives. In spite of this, the aircraft has excelled in every theatre of operation it has been tried in, from offshore oil and gas support to VIP/corporate onshore, search and rescue and firefighting to mention but a few. In its latest incarnation the S76D is certainly the leading contender in the medium sized VIP/corporate market despite certification delays and confused management strategies driven by cost cutting and short cuts. I would rather describe it as a favourite auntie after a facelift and breast implants. The S76D remains the prettiest helicopter on the world stage.. .
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Old 16th Mar 2022, 12:51
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The S76D remains the prettiest helicopter on the world stage.. .
Pretty don’t pay salaries. The market has spoken and the 139 wins, in every aspect.
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Old 16th Mar 2022, 14:14
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I flew every model from the A to the C+. The S-76 has now had its day, but out of all the types I’ve flown, they ride the sky bumps the best. I never did get to trust that auto hover over lumpy sea, though!

I think SK dropped the ball with the D Model. They spent too much time and effort on the Comanche and the early Presidential bid project and promised delivery dates for the new D became ever more distant. By the time they woke up the AW139 had run past them and away.
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Old 16th Mar 2022, 15:47
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Nuff Said
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Old 16th Mar 2022, 15:56
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I have like 3000 hours on the A+ and the C model, so cant comment on the B and the C++ or the D etc.

but I agree with an old colleague of mine who often said that he thought the the 76 was "the biggest pile of horseshit to grace the skies since the skeeter"
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Old 16th Mar 2022, 16:21
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I could never figure out why it had retractable gear. Fixed gear with and strut fairings would have saved all those hydraulics and allowed space for more fuel.
Still I did enjoy flying them. The “A” was “Interesting” power wise coming off some decks on a hot day. The C++ was a nice ride and the best of the lot. Never got to fly a B or D.
Check Pilot on day one: “This is the 76. You will find it much too complicated for what it does!”
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Old 17th Mar 2022, 01:58
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Yep. The S76 required 3 hours of maintenance per flight hour!
Actually averages out about 10 hours if you take a longer operating period and do it properly.
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Old 17th Mar 2022, 08:42
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Are there any commercial operators are who are still using the S-76?
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Old 17th Mar 2022, 17:45
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Originally Posted by unknown.mp3 View Post
Are there any commercial operators are who are still using the S-76?
Yes: Brazil ditching
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Old 17th Mar 2022, 19:51
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Originally Posted by unknown.mp3 View Post
Are there any commercial operators are who are still using the S-76?
Yes. However, you see more C models being used with an occasional A or A++ model still flying for a buck or two in some markets. But once the 139 showed up and people went deepwater the 76 started down the same path as the 412.
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Old 17th Mar 2022, 20:03
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And lest anyone think that the 76 line is being retired to make way for an X-2 based commercial platform... that doesn't seem to be the case, either:

Sikorsky rules out civil helicopter using X-2 technology
Anyone familiar with X-2 platforms won't find that article shocking. The idea of a commercial tiltwing that can handle S-76 missions is also a little far-fetched.

Frankly, given Lockheed's vast experience with and deep portfolio of commercial products... I can't say I'm surprised the 76 is being retired.
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Old 18th Mar 2022, 09:58
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With a row of seats removed and the rest re-spaced, upholstered, and with the glass screens, the B model was a delightful VIP bird to cart The Boss around in. No, not Springsteen....
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