- 22 Jun 2021
- Tony Kioussis
- Aviation Podcasts
Under their programme of regular improvement, Sikorsky upgraded the S-76C twin turbine helicopter as the S-76C+ by replacing the two Turbomeca Arriel 1S1 engines with the FADEC controlled Arriel 2S1. This results in better single engined performance and improved fuel consumption for this well regarded executive and offshore oil support helicopter.
The Sikorsky S-76C+ costs between $1.1m for a 1996 model up to $2.0m for a 2005 model, according to Aircraft Bluebook’s summer 2021 data. These values represent the average retail price for the respective model years. Individual aircraft will vary in value depending on several factors, including their maintenance condition, damage history, the upkeep of their logbooks, and more.
For many operators of Sikorsky S-76C+ helicopters who seek slightly more performance, it could either be worth moving onto the S-76C++ helicopter or having their existing helicopters upgraded to this standard. There are a range of other options competing with the Sikorsky S-76C+ in the medium helicopter market, too, including the Eurocopter EC-145/Airbus H145.
The Sikorsky S-76C+ helicopter brought a new dimension to a longstanding, popular product line, notably through its improved engine performance. This presents VIP and corporate operators with a powerful, spacious aircraft offering flexibility through its excellent multi-mission performance.
The S-76C++ helicopter offers Arriel 2S2 engines, a digital engine control unit (DECU), with an electrical rather than manual back-up. According to Sikorsky, operators can expect to benefit from an improved performance, with up to 500lbs of additional payload under Category A high temperature conditions; additional mission readiness; lower direct operating costs; and improved pilot workload, along with a range of other benefits over the Sikorsky S-76C+.
Sikorsky S-76C+ Turbine Helicopter Overview
By Gerrard Cowan
The Sikorsky S-76 has long been a core feature of Sikorsky’s commercial helicopter offerings, providing a twin-engine, medium-sized workhorse. The Sikorsky S-76C+ was one of several upgrades to the product line over the decades.
The S-76 series has been a significant success for Sikorsky (which is today part of Lockheed Martin). Since 1977, almost 900 units have been delivered around the world across all models in the series, accumulating over 7.5 million flight hours. Around a fifth of this number fly in a corporate or VIP role, highlighting the family’s appeal to this sector.
Specifically, the Sikorsky S-76C+ has the same increased gross weight over the earliest models that was introduced with the S-76B series, but it has a smaller, more efficient engine, producing improved range. Though it is no longer in production today, the S-76C+ remains a well-regarded model the pre-owned executive/VIP helicopter market.
The Sikorsky S-76C+ has a range of approximately 400nm and can accommodate 12 passengers and two crew members. Sikorsky built 152 S-76C+ helicopters over the course of its production, according to JETNET data.
What features does the Sikorsky S-76C+ offer?
The Sikorsky S-76C+ features FADEC-controlled Arriel 2S1 engines, composite main rotor blades with a titanium spar, and all-composite tail rotor blades, plus a non-integrated glass cockpit.
What came before and after the Sikorsky S-76C+?
The Sikorsky S-76 series has gone through a regular process of improvements since deliveries to customers began with the S-76A helicopter in 1978. The more powerful S-76B replaced the original model, and offered an increased gross weight before it, too, was replaced by the S-76C which offered more efficient engines.
The S-76C + and subsequent S-76C++ represent an incremental upgrade to the installed engines. Aircraft systems were continually improved without model changes.
The quiet gearbox was introduced late into the S-76C+ production run, while Honeywell’s Ground Proximity Warning System became standard equipment early in the deliveries of the S-76C++ aircraft. The cockpit also evolved through the early S-76C+ deliveries. The S-76C+ was ultimately replaced by the S-76C++ on the production line in 2006.
Today the line is represented by the S-76D helicopter, which features a wide range of modern advances and enhancements, including Pratt & Whitney PW210S engines, all composite main and tail rotor blades with a modern airfoil, a fully integrated Thales TopDeck Cockpit.
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