HELI-EXPO, Louisville, Ky., 2 March 2016. Officials at Bangkok-based operator Thai Aviation Services have opted to for a fleet of commercial helicopters from Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company (NYSE:LMT), to provide safe, reliable helicopter transportation to oil and gas customers in the Gulf of Thailand. They’ve selected five S-76D medium-lift and two S-92 heavy-lift aircraft from Sikorsky.
"We thank Thai Aviation Services for again selecting Sikorsky helicopters to perform critical offshore oil and gas transport missions," says Christophe Nurit, Sikorsky sales vice president in Asia. "Selection of these advanced aircraft combined with Sikorsky's support services will ensure high aircraft availability rates for customers that rightly demand reliability and performance."
The new fleet replaces six older model S-76 aircraft and two S-92 aircraft currently operated by Thai Aviation Services. Acquisition of the new helicopters via a major aircraft leasing company's order book will begin in the third quarter of 2016 until all fleet aircraft are replaced by early 2017.
"Thai Aviation Services, as the market leader in offshore helicopter support services in Southeast Asia, demands the highest levels of safety, reliability, and aircraft availability from our fleet," says Craig Havas, Thai Aviation Services deputy managing director – operations and S-92 chief pilot. "The Sikorsky fleet option, consisting of the S-76D and the S-92 helicopters, provides us with all of these aspects, in addition to a cost effective and operationally seamless transition from our current fleet. We look forward to strengthening our long-standing relationship with Sikorsky in order to continue the TAS tradition of exceeding our customers' expectations in Southeast Asia."
The S-76D helicopter is an all-new aircraft similar in external size and shape to the family of S-76 aircraft that has accumulated almost 7 million flight hours since 1979. The selection by Thai Aviation Services marks the S-76D helicopter's debut in Southeast Asia.
Noted for its high power and low noise, the S-76D model can achieve cruise speeds at much lower power settings than its S-76 family predecessors. Improvements in handling qualities in all weather conditions are a function of the new tail rotor design combined with the aerodynamic airframe and highly responsive four-axis autopilot system. S-76D aircraft are certified for 12 passengers in airline layout, or five to eight in executive configuration.
The larger S-92 helicopter has proved to be a favorite for offshore operators since 2004, officials say. The offshore community has accumulated the vast majority of the more than 950,000 flight hours on the global fleet of 275 aircraft. The S-92 cabin can seat up to 19 passengers in airline configuration.
The high volume of flight hours for both the S-76 and S-92 platforms has yielded for Sikorsky and its customers a wealth of performance data. Ongoing analysis of the HUMS data has enabled Sikorsky to forecast component and system life, resulting in improved flight readiness and more productive aircraft.
Thai Aviation Services operates from the U-tapao International Airport, Songkhla Naval Base, and Nakhon Si Thammarat Airport in support of production and exploration activities in the Gulf of Thailand, including along the territorial waters of neighboring countries, such as Cambodia and Malaysia.
Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, based in Stratford, Connecticut, provides aircraft design, manufacture, and service. Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that – with the addition of Sikorsky – employs approximately 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.
You might also like:
Subscribe today to receive all the latest aerospace technology and engineering news, delivered directly to your e-mail inbox twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays). Sign upfor your free subscription to the Intelligent Inbox e-newsletter at http://www.intelligent-aerospace.com/subscribe.html.