The Sikorsky S-76 Spirit is a twin-engine medium utility helicopter that
can accommodate a basic crew of two and up to 13 passengers. The S-76 helicopter is mainly used for cargo and passenger
transport to oil platforms, in V.I.P. version and emergency. In 1975,
Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation started with the development of the
Sikorsky S76 medium lift helicopter for the offshore/ oil support
sector, based on the military S70 Black Hawk program. The first
prototype S-76A, powered by two Allison 250C30S turbo shafts, flew on 13
March 1977. Deliveries of the production model started in 1979 after FAA
certification was awarded in November 1978. 284 Sikorsky S-76A
helicopters were manufactured, a large number were modified to S-76A+.
The Sikorsky S-76B with the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6B engines was
flown first on 22 June 1984. Deliveries started in 1987 and the final
S-76B was delivered in December 1997, with 101 S-76Bs built. In June
1989, the Model S-76C, fitted with Turboméca Arriel 1S1 engines, was
announced. The Sikorsky S-76C flew first on 18 May 1990 and FAA
certification was achieved in April 1991. The Sikorsky S-76C++
helicopter was the version in production until 2011. Its main feature is
the Arriel engine, which gives excellent single-engine performance as
well as good range. In 2011, with aircraft number 882, the last S-76C++
closed out that production progam. The latest development of the
Sikorsky S-76 helicopter is the S-76D. The S-76D helicopter features all-composite main rotor blades,
Pratt & Whitney PW210S engines and Thales TopDeck avionics. FAA approved Type Certification for the S-76D helicopter on 12 October
2012. Until 2011, Keystone / Sikorsky built over 880 S-76 helicopters in various models.
The Sikorsky S-76D helicopter is the version currently in production.
In 1986, the Sikorsky S-76B c/n 760320 was registered in Germany with the BGR-Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften
und Rohstoffe. The BGR-Geological Survey F.R.Germany uses the helicopter for survey work. In 2004, when operating on this
job in the Northern part of the Netherlands, Sikorsky S-76B D-HBGR was temporary based at Groningen Airport Eelde.