The S-76A is a variant of the S-76 medium commercial utility helicopter manufactured by the Sikorsky helicopter company of America.
The S-67 actually began life in the 70s as the S-74. The helicopter was conceived of as a vehicle for corporate transport and oil industry use. It’s notable for being the first purely civilian Sikorsky aircraft, although two military variants were eventually created.
Interestingly one experimental S-76 airframe was used to test an early version of the cockpit intended for the RAH-66 Commanche.
The first prototype flew in 1977 and the first customer delivery took place the following year.
The S-76A was the first production model and is of conventional design, with a four-blade main rotor and tail rotor.
The S-67A is powered by two 650 shaft horse power Rolls Royce 250-C30 turboshaft engines. Subsequent versions would push that figure closer to 1000 shaft horse power, significantly increasing performance.
The fuselage of the S-76A is made of mixed metals and composite material with a fiberglass nose. The cabin also has a light alloy honeycomb structure.
This lightweight construction and strong engine power allows the S-76A to transport a crew of two plus another 12 passengers in three rows of four in the cabin. A more luxurious executive option cuts this down to between four and eight.
The most advanced variant, the S-76C+ ceased production in 2005. Across all variants about 1090 units were produces and the S-76 remains in service to this day.
At least thirteen nations operate S-76 helicopters in military or state service. Civilian use is widespread globally and the largest civilian fleet consists of 79 S-76 units operated by CHC Helicopter Corporation.