Sikorsky and its subsidiary Schweizer Aircraft have launched the S-434 light single-turbine helicopter, a development of the Schweizer 333 incorporating technology developed for the Fire Scout unmanned air vehicle.
The S-434 introduces a four-blade rotor, increased power and larger fuel tank, allowing the three/four-seat light helicopter to fly farther and faster than the 333, with a larger useful load, says Schweizer.
Sikrosky says the S-434 will fly shortly, and the company has begun offering delivery position agreements for the new helicopter.
Elmira, New York-based Schweizer produces the airframe for Northrop Grumman's MQ-8B Fire Scout vertical take-off and landing UAV. This is based on an improved version of the Model 333 light helicopter.
The Rolls-Royce 250-C20W turboshaft is uprated to 320shp (240kW), from 280shp in the 333. Fuel capacity is increased to 84USgal, from 73USgal in the 333.
Compared with the 333, the S-434 has an increased gross weight of 2,900lb (1,315kg), higher maximum cruise speed of 105kt (195km/h), imporved hover performance and longer enduranbce of 4h.