Sikorsky is to supply two S-76C+ emergency medical service (EMS) helicopters to Florida's Palm Beach County. Under the deal, the helicopters will be available for use by Sikorsky as demonstrators as the manufacturer's S-76 completion and delivery centre is located in the county, at West Palm Beach.

The helicopters will be outfitted for use in the county's Trauma Hawk emergency medical transport programme. They will have interiors able to accommodate two patients and four attendants. Other equipment will include wirestrike protection, "glass" cockpit and instrument flight rules communications/navigation suite.

After delivery, the helicopters will continue to be available for use as demonstrators under the guise of an "economic development tool" for the county, which benefits from sales of the S-76. The manufacturer will pay to use the aircraft "on a non-interference basis" for customer demonstrations.

A substantial number of ex-corporate S-76s are in EMS service. Sikorsky sees an emerging market for the new S-76C+, despite its relatively high cost, because of its combination of cabin size, speed and range, and avionics sophistication. One new S-76C+ is already in EMS service with a Hillsboro, Oregon, hospital network.

Source: Flight International