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 2014, Keystone / Sikorsky built over 910 S-76 helicopters in various models.
The Sikorsky S-76D helicopter is the version currently in production.
The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the S-76B helicopters is S76.
The 1985-built Sikorsky S-76A c/n 760282 was registered N63WW in the
USA. After the Sikorsky was re-registered N92RP, the helicopter was
registered N92RR on 15 June 1992. After the aircraft was sold to Sweden
for use on SAR-operations, the helicopter was modified to an
EMS-helicopter and upgraded into a S-76A++ by Keystone Helicopter
Corporation. On 10 December 1998, registration N92RR was cancelled and
the aircraft was registered SE-JUZ in Sweden on 28 December 1998. The
SE-JUZ entered service with Norrlandsflyg, Gällivare, on 7 January 1999.
After the aircraft was sold to Germany, registration SE-JUZ was
cancelled on 22 January 2010. The S-76A++ was registered D-HULK with
HeliJet Charter, Langenfeld, as operator and SILAG AG, Kassel/Calden as
owner, on 3 February 2010. In service with HeliJet Charter, the
helicopter kept its rescue hoist. On 27 July 2011, the D-HULK arrived at Rotterdam The Hague Airport in the Netherlands.
At the airport the Sikorsky was plastered with ASR advertising including purple instead of the red stripes
and landed on 28 July, in Stadium De Kuip during the Open Day of FC Feyenoord. As the S-76A was chartered
by Helicon it wore the Helicon logo on the nose. After the event, Sikorsky D-HULK returned via Rotterdam The Hague Airport
to Langenfeld in Germany. Since December 2012, the D-HULK is operated by HeliService international GmbH, Emden,
to transport people and equipment from/to the offshore windfarms. The helicopter is leased from HeliJet Charter,
Langenfeld, and sub-leased from SILAG AG.