Falcon Aviation Services Becomes Sikorsky Aircraft’s Worldwide Launch Customer for the S-76D
Monday, 16 November 2009
Dubai, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. announced today 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.

Falcon Aviation Services was formed in early 2006 under the initiative of Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan. Its main operating base at Al-Bateen Executive Airport, situated only 10 km from the City Centre of Abu Dhabi.

The S-76D helicopters are scheduled for delivery to FAS starting 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.

“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,” said Carey Bond, President of Sikorsky Global Helicopters and Chief Marketing Officer. “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, Thales avionics system and autopilot; dual speed rotor with active vibration control; Pratt & Whitney Canada 210S engines; a quiet mode for enhanced public acceptance; and an optional Rotor Ice Protection System (RIPS) for all-weather capability.

The S-76D helicopter also will offer an increase in useful load and extended range performance versus the S-76C+TM and S-76C++TM aircraft currently fielded. The S-76D helicopter completed its first flight on Feb. 7, 2009, and is scheduled to enter production in 2010.

“FAS continues to expand its fleet and adapt its services to meet the dynamic needs of the regional aviation market,” said His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Chairman of Falcon Aviation Services. “We are confident that this latest variant of the S76 helicopter family will deliver the performance, comfort and operating economics enabling FAS to continue providing the highest level of aviation services that establish benchmark standards in terms of safety, quality and customer service.”

FAS also serves as a Sikorsky Service Center and is a founding board member of the Middle East Business Aircraft Association (MEBAA).

Source: Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.