Last Nov. 17, Wednesday, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. announced at the Dubai Air Show that Falcon Aviation Services (FAS) has contracted to purchase two Sikorsky S-76D helicopters, with options to purchase two more, becoming the worldwide launch customer for the new aircraft. Based in Abu Dhabi, FAS provides a wide array of helicopter and jet services, ranging from aerial tours to offshore oil and gas transport and corporate jet charter.
The delivery of the S-76D helicopters to FAS is scheduled in 2011. The aircraft will be configured for VIP corporate, helitaxi, and offshore oil and gas support missions. The S-76D helicopters will become the first Sikorsky aircraft in the FAS fleet, which currently numbers 21 helicopters and five corporate jets.
Carey Bond, President of Sikorsky Global Helicopters and Chief Marketing Officer, said “We are thrilled to become part of the FAS fleet and to have the opportunity to demonstrate the ability of the S-76D helicopter to excel in the Middle East environment.” Bond also said “This multi-mission helicopter represents the very latest in the long and highly successful line of S-76 aircraft.”
The S-76D helicopter’s features include all-composite, flaw-tolerant main rotor blades; an advanced Thales avionics system and autopilot; dual speed rotor with active vibration control; powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada 210S engines; a quiet mode for enhanced public acceptance; and an optional Rotor Ice Protection System (RIPS) for all-weather capability.
Formed in early 2006, Falcon Aviation Services was under the initiative of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan with the prime objective of filling the significant gaps in the aviation market through the provision of innovative products and services.
FAS also serves as a Sikorsky Service Center and is committed to delivering the highest level of aviation services that establish benchmark standards in terms of safety, quality and customer service. FAS is a founding board member of the Middle East Business Aircraft Association (MEBAA).