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Saturday June 12, 1999 :

Sikorsky S-92A Helibus debuts at Paris

Paris, France ( Sikorsky Press Release ) - Sikorsky's S-92A HELIBUS was introduced to the world aerospace community at the Paris Air Show. The utility variant on static display allows viewers to see the large cabin and rear ramp attributes that spell mission versatility.

Meanwhile, flight development of the world's most advanced medium-lift helicopter continues to expand at the company's Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Fla.

With the first three of five development aircraft now at the facility, the ground and flight testing of the S-92 are well underway. Aircraft number 3 joined the development program in May and will begin flying in July 1999.

The development program has achieved significant milestones. Since the Ground Test Vehicle, Aircraft 1, first ran in August 1998, it has accumulated more then 150 hours and is currently conducting the 200 hour FAA endurance run to certify the entire drive system including main, intermediate and tail gearboxes.

Aircraft 2 continues to expand its flight envelope. Since first flight in December 1998, Aircraft 2 has logged more than 60 hours in the air. The aircraft has completed the majority of its low work and has expanded its flight envelope to the edge. Flights have now been flown at all airspeeds up to 165 knots (Vne) and the maximum dive airspeed has been achieved at just over 180 knots. Autorotations have been conducted at various airspeeds, as well as maneuvers up to 45 degrees angle of bank and 1.9g's.

Flights have also been flown at maximum gross weights with various cg locations, from full forward cg to full aft cg. Tethered hover flight, both HIGE and HOGE, was recently completed recording 31,000 pounds of thrust generated, confirming projected performance parameters.

The active vibration system has been tested throughout the flight development program and reflects significant improvement over a passive system. Data flights continue with current emphasis focusing primarily on the handling qualities of the aircraft at various operating weights.

Aircraft 3 recently arrived in West Palm Beach to join the flight development program. The aircraft will be painted, instrumentation installed and will begin flying during July 1999. Aircraft 3 is the closest representative to the production model, with the GE-CT7-8 engines and Auxiliary Power Unit installed. Aircraft 3 development will be primarily focused on power plants and automatic flight control system (AFCS) work. Aircraft 4 will be the last aircraft to join the flight program. It will fly in July 2000.

Aircraft 5 has been developed without the flight test instrumentation package and is at the Paris Air Show on static display. After Paris, Aircraft 5 will return to Stratford, Conn., for installation of its instrumentation package. The aircraft will then join the flight development program in West Palm Beach, Florida early next year. Aircraft 5 is the only development S-92 representing the utility configuration. The helicopter's versatility is evidenced by the large cabin and rear loading ramp. The spacious cabin can be configured to meet any helicopter application: transport, cargo, search and rescue, aeromedical or any other configuration possible. The aircraft is configured with 22 side-facing seats for the Paris Air Show.

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

The HELIBUS is being developed by an international team of companies led by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. 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.

Sikorsky, based in Stratford, Connecticut, is a world leader in helicopter design and manufacturing. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation

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