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Launched at the Paris Airshow in 1995, the Sikorsky S-92 first flew in 1998 at West Palm Beach in Florida. Designed as a medium lift twin-engined helicopter, the S-92 is essentially a new airframe combined with the flight control and rotor components used on the S-70 Blackhawk. The S-92 has seen substantial success as a civilian helicopter and has particularly found a use as an off shore transport helicopter for the oil industry. The S-92 is currently available to the military in two different versions, the most common is the H-92 Superhawk which has been ordered by a number of militaries including Canada who call the helicopter the CH-148 Cyclone. The second military version is the VH-92 which is being developed as the new US Presidential US Marines Corps VIP helicopter, known as Marine One.
The UK Search and Rescue (SAR) capability was provided by the RAF, Royal Navy and HM Coastguard, using the Sea King and S-61. Following a decision in 2006 by Her Majesties Government, the capability was put out to tender to private operators. During March 2013, the Department for Transport signed a contract with Bristow Helicopters to provide the UK SAR capability from 2015 using the Sikorsky S-92 and Leonardo AW139/AW189 helicopters. The new service achieved full capability during 2019.
Bristow will once again be providing one of their SAR S-92s for static display at this year's Air Tattoo. The S-92 will be displayed alongside a Bristow SAR AW189. Photo Credit: RIAT Volunteer