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Sunday, November 14, 1999:

Sikorsky S-92 Helicopter Flying with Production Engine

DUBAI, U.A.E. ( Sikorsky Press Release ) - The latest Sikorsky S-92A helicopter to fly is powered by engines certified for commercial use in its production configuration. Aircraft Number 3 was first flown on Oct. 19, 1999, and joined Aircraft Number 2 in developmental flight test.

Aircraft 3 is the closest representative to the production model, with the GE-CT7-8 engines and Auxiliary Power Unit installed. Its development flight card will be primarily focused on powerplants and automatic flight control system (AFCS) work.

During its first flight, the aircraft was aloft for about 1.3 hours. Maneuvers included hover, paced yardwork (60 knots forward and 35 knots left and right sideward), level flight to 120 knots, maximum continuous power climb and partial power descent. Its production Dash 8 engines have the digital engine controls representative of the production configuration.

The S-92, Sikorsky's newest medium helicopter, offers a stand-up cabin and standout performance. Production deliveries will begin in 2002.

The five-aircraft development program is proceeding as planned and has achieved significant milestones since first flight in December 1998. Aircraft 2 has flown more than 100 hours as test pilots expand the flight envelope. (more) S-92 -2-

The Ground Test Vehicle, Aircraft 1, recently completed the 200 hour FAA endurance run to certify the entire drive system including main, intermediate and tail gearboxes.

Early assessment of aircraft attributes confirms predictions. The active vibration system has been functional since the first flight. Performance and range predictions have been validated. Acoustic levels are below certification requirements. Reliability is better than predicted at this point in the test program, justifying the lowest-in-class Direct Maintenance Cost of $800 per hour.

Sikorsky is currently discussing S-92 acquisitions with airline operators, offshore oil companies and other commercial operators around the world. Near-term opportunities for utility variants of the S-92 include the governments of Portugal and Canada. Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway are also considering the S-92 for the new, multi-mission Nordic Standard Helicopter.

Flights have also been conducted at maximum gross weights with various cg locations, from full forward to full aft, at a wide range of airspeeds. Tethered hover flight, both in and out of ground effect, was recently completed recording 31,000 pounds of lift generated, confirming projected performance. Flights continue with current emphasis focusing primarily on the handling qualities of the aircraft at various operating weights.

Aircraft 4 will be completed in 2000, incorporating a final update to the avionics configuration, ensuring that the latest available equipment is included for certification.

Aircraft 5, the utility-configured aircraft, will join the flight development program early next year. It has participated in. It is currently in Stratford, Conn., for completion of final assembly and instrumentation installation.

On the show circuit, at the Paris Air Show and the Nova Scotia International Air Show as a static display, Aircraft 5 clearly let people see the versatility of the large cabin and rear loading ramp. The spacious cabin can be configured to meet a variety of helicopter applications: transport, cargo, search and rescue, aeromedical service or any other possible configuration.

The five aircraft will be active in the flight development program from now until certification in 2001 and will accumulate about 1,400 hours of flight time.

An international team of companies led by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation is developing the S-92. Members of the international team are: Embraer in Brazil, Gamesa in Spain, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan, Jingdezhen Helicopter Group/CATIC of the People's Republic of China, and Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) in Taiwan. Major subcontractors include General Electric, Rockwell Collins and Hamilton Sundstrand.

The S-92 is based on proven U.S. Army Black Hawk and U.S. Navy Seahawk helicopters, which have logged more than 4 million flying hours. The S-92 has a metal and composite airframe and a highly integrated flight avionics package. Powered by twin General Electric CT7-8 turboshaft engines, it has a range of 400 nm with fuel reserves, a cruising speed of 155 kts, and a 15,000 ft service ceiling.

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