Day 7 (Part 1) of our Portrush Aircraft profile is a double header. First up is the Irish Coast Guard S92 helicopter that will be doing the search and rescue display on the Saturday.
The Sikorsky S-92 is a four-bladed twin-engine medium-lift helicopter built by Sikorsky Aircraft for the civil and military helicopter market. The S-92 was developed from the Sikorsky S-70 helicopter and has similar parts such as flight control and rotor systems.
The S-92 features an active vibration control system, using vibration sensors and structurally mounted force generators to increase flight comfort and lower acoustic levels to below certification requirements.
A 2008 study by Norway’s Flymedisinsk Institute found that the S-92’s vibration levels were 42 percent above that of the Eurocopter EC225 Super Puma; Sikorsky disputed this finding, saying that the study hadn’t used their latest anti-vibration technology. In February 2011, the noise and vibration levels were reportedly subject to health concerns, allegedly causing tinnitus and heart problems.
The Irish Coast Guard had previously used the S61 Helicopter until replacing them with the S92. The first S92 was delivered to them in January 2012 and given the registration EI-ICG with the callsign ‘Rescue 115’
The five S-92’s have registrations EI-ICG, EI-ICU, EI-ICA, EI-ICR, EI-ICD – with the last letter of each registration spelling out “GUARD”
While EI-ICG was delivered as “factory new” from Sikorsky in the US, the other S-92 aircraft are ex-UK Coastguard equipment.
As of July 2013, the final S-92 aircraft, with registration EI-ICD, was reportedly undergoing repainting and fitting at Shannon. However as of October 2013 two of the S-92 aircraft (EI-ICD and EI-ICU) remain in the “retro” livery of the UK Coastguard – but sporting their Irish registrations. Check back later when we profile the 2nd search and rescue helicopter, the SeaKing.
Information from Wikipedia and photograph from AirshowsNI admin taken at the 2015 Newcastle Festival of Flight.