Sikorsky announced a $17 million order for three of its new S-76C+ aircraft at the Show yesterday, describing the sale as a watershed event in the helicopter mass transit market.

Sikorsky commercial programmes director Mike Moran gave details of the contract for three S-76C+ aircraft to HelikopterService, which will use them to upgrade its busy service between Copenhagen International Airport and the Swedish cities of Malmo and Helsingborg.



Moran says the developments vindicate Eugene Buckley's presentation at the last Farnborough, when the Sikorsky boss said the helicopter was ready for the mass transit market.

He cites both developed and developing markets as areas of potential.

In Asia for example, Bangkok and Taipei, where there is significant traffic congestion, offer markets and in parts of China where the infrastructure is being built up the logistics and economics of helicopter operations make sense, says Sikorsky.

The first two aircraft will be delivered to HelikopterService in February 1997, and the remaining aircraft will be delivered in mid-summer 1997.

HelikopterService chairman Bo Hakansson says his company, which has just celebrated a decade of operations, expects to carry 70,000 people this year, up from 55,000 in 1995.



HelikopterService has agreements with 15 airlines in Europe and intercontinental carrier Delta to offer passengers a complete service.

He says: "A passenger checking in his luggage at Helsingborg can collect it on arrival at New York. We are an airline that operates helicopters."

Current sales of the aircraft which was introduced earlier this year stand at 14.

The higher-powered C+ variant has Turbomeca Arriel 2S1 engines which provide 22% more one-engine-inoperative power and an 18% increase in take-off power.



Source: Flight Daily News