Sikorsky saw demand for its S-76 helicopter reach an all-time high last year, with the US manufacturer taking firm orders for 49 aircraft, plus options for an additional 57 helicopters over five years. The company delivered 23 S-76C+ aircraft in 2003 and expects to ship 29 of the type this year.

Stratford, Connecticut-based Sikorsky says that S-76 sales have reached a 25-year high as corporate and offshore operators continue to renew their fleets. CHC Helicopter ordered four S-76C+s in 2003, while Offshore Logistics signed a contract to purchase 15 aircraft over five years.

Sikorsky, meanwhile, will deliver the first S-92 to Petroleum Helicopters (PHI) in March, at the Helicopter Association International's Heli-Expo show in Las Vegas, Nevada. PHI ordered two S-92s in August last year.

The S-92 received US certification in December 2002, and the first four production aircraft are nearing completion at Sikorsky's new Bridgeport, Connecticut factory.

Source: Flight International