Sikorsky Aircraft has
opened the company's new MH-92 helicopter fly-by-wire system
integration lab with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the site. The new
lab will develop, integrate and test the fly-by-wire and avionic
systems for the MH-92, a military variant of Sikorsky's medium-lift
S-92 helicopter. Upon completion and certification, the fly-by-wire
system will form the basis of future H-92 helicopter military
"The MH-92 fly-by-wire system will provide improved handling
qualities, greater mission effectiveness, and enhanced safety,"
said Mark Miller, Sikorsky's vice president of research &
Officials from the Canadian Maritime Helicopter Project (MHP),
the first customer for the fly-by-wire system, and executives from
BAE Systems, Sikorsky's teammate on H-92 fly-by-wire development,
joined Sikorsky at the ribbon cutting. Sikorsky was awarded a
contract in November 2004 to provide 28 MH-92 maritime helicopters,
designated the CH-148 Cyclone, to replace Sea King aircraft
currently in service with the Canadian Forces.
Sikorsky plans to develop companion fly-by-wire integration labs
for the U.S. Army UH-60M BLACK HAWK upgrade, the US Marine Corps
CH-53X Heavy Lift Replacement helicopter, and Sikorsky's X2
"This facility and the others that will follow underscore
Sikorsky's commitment to invest in state-of-the art facilities and
technology to expand our system integration capabilities in order
to provide more value to the customer," Miller said.
The MH-92 lab is equipped with the full complement of aircraft
subsystems that replicate the aircraft design and installation.
These include electronic and mechanical flight controls, a complete
avionics suite, and hydraulics, diagnostics and electrical power
Fly-by-wire differs from traditional helicopter flight control
systems because the mechanical linkage between the cockpit
controllers and the actuators is replaced by a purely electrical
system. In addition to more capability, fly-by-wire systems save
weight and reduce maintenance costs compared with traditional