S-92 SAR Helicopter, United States of America
The S-92 Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopter is produced by Sikorsky Aircraft. It is a SAR mission variant of the S-92 medium-lift helicopter. It can conduct search and rescue, emergency medical services (EMS), maritime security and transport missions. The S-92 SAR helicopter was preferred by the UK Maritime and Coast Guard Agency, Irish Coast Guard and South Korea Coast Guard.
Design and dimensions of the search and rescue helicopter
The S-92 helicopter incorporates a fail-safe airframe design. The rotor and fuselage structures also include a fully flaw tolerant design. The corrosion resistant airframe is made of aluminium and the rotor blades are of composite construction.
The fuel system, built in accordance with highest crash-worthiness standards, reduces the risk of post-crash fire. The energy-absorbing seats and landing gear are designed to absorb energy during heavy landings, thus minimising injuries to occupants. Other safety features include bird strike and turbine burst protection.
The S-92 has an overall length of 20.8m and height of 4.71m. The rotor diameter of is 17.1m. The maximum take-off weight is 12,837kg with external load. The helicopter can carry up to 19 passengers.
S-92 cockpit and avionics suite
The modern glass cockpit of S-92 accommodates two crew members. The night vision compatible (NVG) cockpit, designed to reduce the workload of pilot, incorporates the Rockwell Collins / Sikorsky Avionics Management System. The ergonomic cockpit layout provides superior field of view for the crew.
The avionics suite integrates four multifunction liquid crystal displays with a fifth optional display for SAR Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS) functionality. The display presents the data of Honeywell 701 weather radar, thermal imagers and other onboard sensors.
The S-92 SAR helicopter is also equipped with Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR), Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS), Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), digital map, HF radio and VHF/UHF/AM/FM communication systems, Health and Usage Management System (HUMS) and Automatic Identification System (AIS) transponder system. Onboard electronic systems are shielded from electromagnetic interference.
Cabin, engines and landing gear of Sikorsky's helicopter
The spacious cabin of S-92 is one of the largest in its class. It measures 6.10m in length, 2.01m in width and 1.83m in height. The roomy interior allows the passengers and crew to stand and move with ease.
The cabin can be quickly converted to complement a range of missions, including SAR, airborne law enforcement, cargo transport and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC).
The standard SAR configured cabin can accommodate ten passengers. Other SAR conversions can provide seating for up to 19 passengers. The MEDEVAC configuration is installed with seven seats and two three-patient litter kits.
The 2.13m wide rear ramp of the S-92 helicopter allows for the rapid loading and unloading of cargo. It also serves as an additional stowage space. The helicopter can be fitted with dual rescue hoist with spotlight.
The S-92 SAR helicopter is powered by two General Electric CT7-8A turboshaft engines driving a four-bladed fully articulated system. The engines are equipped with built-in particle separators and pneumatic starting system.
The helicopter is also equipped with a Honeywell auxiliary power unit for supplying power on the ground or emergency power in the air. The two external sponsons can store basic fuel of 2,877L.
The S-92 SAR helicopter has a retractable, energy absorbing, try-cycle type landing gear. Each landing unit is equipped with twin wheels.
S-92 Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopter prformance
The S-92 SAR has a maximum cruise speed of 306km/h. It can fly at a maximum altitude of 15,000ft. The helicopter can conduct programmed search for one hour up to a range of 352km with standard fuel and 639km with auxiliary fuel.
The helicopter using standard fuel can rescue two survivors at 380km range and ten at 334km. The distances can be further extended by integrating the optional auxiliary tanks.
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