Sikorsky S-75

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S-75 ACAP
Lhxs75.jpg
Sikorsky S-75 ACAP all-composite test aircraft
Role Experimental helicopter
Manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft
First flight July 1984
Primary user United States Army
Number built 2
Developed from Sikorsky S-76

The Sikorsky S-75 was a proof of concept all-composite helicopter. Composite materials were used to replace metal to provide greater strength, lighter weight, lower manufacturing costs, and reduce maintenance costs.

Design and development[edit]

The Sikorsky S-75 was developed under the US Army's Advanced Composite Airframe Program (ACAP), the goal of which was the development of an all-composite helicopter fuselage considerably lighter and less costly to build than predominantly metal airframes in support of the Light Helicopter Experimental (LHX) program.[1][2] In February 1981, contracts were awarded to Sikorsky and Bell Helicopter, with Bell submitting its Model D292. The S-75 flew for the first time in July 1984.

The S-75 mated an entirely new composite airframe with the twin turboshaft engines, transmission, and main and tail rotors of Sikorsky's S-76A civil transport helicopter.[1] The S-75's floors, roof and most exterior surfaces were of more ballistically-resistant Kevlar, while most of the aircraft's basic load-bearing structure was built of graphite or a graphite/epoxy blend. The machine was equipped with specially designed impact-resistant crew and passenger seats and high-strength pneumatic shock absorbers on its fixed tricycle landing gear, in keeping with the Army's requirement that the ACAP aircraft meet or exceed all existing military crashworthiness standards. The aircraft was flown by two pilots, and could carry up to six passengers in the 100-cubic-foot (2.8 m3) rear cabin.

Operational history[edit]

The S-75 underwent a 50-hour evaluation by the Army, and was found to have exceeded the weight- and cost-saving criteria set in the original ACAP specification.[1] Sikorsky gained a wealth of data on the fabrication and use of composite airframes through building the S-75, and Sikorsky's later designs incorporated many of its features. Testing of the machine continued through April 1985, after which it was withdrawn from service and placed in long-term storage.

Operators[edit]

 United States

Specifications (S-75)[edit]

Data from U.S. Army Aircraft Since 1947,[1]

General characteristics

Performance

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Harding, Stephen (1997). U.S. Army Aircraft Since 1947. Atglen, PA, USA: Schiffer Publishing Ltd. p. 251. ISBN 96-69996 Check |isbn= value (help). 
  2. ^ Historic US Army Helicopters

External links[edit]