Advanced Automation Features Added to Sikorsky S-92 Variants
Jeffrey Heimgartner posted on March 18, 2019 |

When helicopter manufacturers faced a downturn in 2017, it didn’t stop them from looking ahead. At the 2019 Helicopter Association International Heli-Expo show, Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, announced plans for its modified S-92 helicopter, the S-92A+, and the newly developed S-92B. The two will be similar except the S-92B is expected to have enlarged cabin windows and plans for a common cabin door suitable for offshore and SAR configurations.

Sikorsky plans to incorporate new technology and designs into its S-92 line. (Image courtesy of Sikorsky.)
Sikorsky plans to incorporate new technology and designs into its S-92 line. (Image courtesy of Sikorsky.)

Reliability and cost remain at the forefront of the newest helicopters. The fleet update will include introducing computer power to the platform through MATRIX technology, which combines software and hardware components to enable autonomous, reliable mission execution in obstacle-rich environments. This onboard intelligence will enhance operators’ abilities during flight for both large autonomous or optionally piloted aircraft.

Part of the MATRIX system will be Rig Approach 2.0, a feature which provides operators with an automated approach to offshore rig and platform landings.  Another enhancement will be SuperSearch. It uses advanced algorithms to missing objects up to 30 percent faster. The company believes these innovations will continue to make the S-92 a top performer in safety and reliability, as well as provide additional capabilities.

“We think safety is a good investment, and so we welcome Sikorsky’s investment in this significant new technology, which will drive greater reliability, resilience and operational capability,” said Gretchen Haskins, CEO of HeliOffshore.

In addition to technologies within, both models will feature a lightweight interior capable for both SAR and OSO missions. They will also include a Phase IV main gearbox, which has efficiently tested to operate over 500 nautical miles at a speed of 80 knots. An optional feature will be General Electric’s CT7-8A6 engine, which produced more power at higher altitudes and temperatures.

Sikorsky expects the S-92B to be available in 2022. Upgrades will be available as a retrofit package, raising in-service helicopters to an A+ designation.

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