Sikorsky delivers its first two S-92 helicopters for utility operations in Afghanistan

COATESVILLE, Conn., 1 Feb. 2011. Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. delivered two S-92 helicopters to airlift services provider AAR CORP., for operations in Afghanistan. AAR will perform passenger and cargo lift missions on behalf of the U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), a government agency that provides transportation for the Department of Defense. Both aircraft are certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to simultaneously carry both passengers and cargo in the same cabin space.

Feb 1st, 2011

Posted by John McHale
COATESVILLE, Conn., 1 Feb. 2011. Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. delivered two S-92 helicopters to airlift services provider AAR CORP., for operations in Afghanistan. AAR will perform passenger and cargo lift missions on behalf of the U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), a government agency that provides transportation for the Department of Defense. Both aircraft are certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to simultaneously carry both passengers and cargo in the same cabin space.
The standard S-92 aircraft includes a large cockpit with exterior visibility, a stand-up cabin for as many as 19 passengers, modern avionics with large night vision goggle-compatible displays, a crashworthy fuel system separated from the passenger compartment, and a rear ramp for loading passengers or cargo. The S-92 was certified to FAA/EASA (European aviation Safety Agency) harmonized Part 29 requirements, as amended through Amendment 47.
"Deployment to Afghanistan is a tremendous opportunity for AAR and the U.S. government to see what the multi-mission S-92 aircraft is capable of in some very challenging flight conditions at high altitude," says Ed Beyer, vice president for Sikorsky Global Helicopters. "The unique interior configuration of these two aircraft also will give AAR greater mission flexibility to perform its utility and transport missions."
The FAA certified an easily configurable interior with variable seating while carrying up to three 4-foot-square-sized cargo pallets secured to rings in the seat tracks and cabin walls to assure crashworthiness. For each pallet, Sikorsky developed a special fire containment cover to contain and suffocate flames, and added smoke detectors. To separate the passengers from cargo, Sikorsky designed a fabric partition, and added a fire extinguisher and Protective Breathing Equipment for passengers and crew.
AAR purchased the two S-92 aircraft following an October 2010 USTRANSCOM contract award valued at $450 million to provide as many as five years of airlift service in Afghanistan. Both aircraft are expected to begin operations in Afghanistan during February 2011. AAR already operates 15 Sikorsky S-61N aircraft in various mission roles, including Afghanistan.
"We evaluated a number of alternatives before concluding that the Sikorsky S-92 helicopter was the best choice to meet the arduous demands of supporting tactical lift missions in remote and extremely harsh environments," says Jeff Schloesser, president of AAR's Airlift Group. "The selection came down to choosing the aircraft that best fulfills the requirements and enables us to offer reliability, responsiveness, and the best long-term business case for the military."
A military version of the S-92 airframe -- the CH148 helicopter equipped for naval operations -- is being designed and produced for the Canadian government. Additionally, Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin have proposed a variant to the U.S.

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