The FAA has certified Sikorsky Aircraft’s S-92 helicopter, equipped with a new Rotor Ice Protection System (RIPS), for flight in known icing conditions.
Any S-92 with RIPS will now be allowed to launch in icy weather that might otherwise delay or cancel flight operations. The RIPS determines the temperature and moisture content of the surrounding environment and applies heat to the main and tail rotor blades to remove any ice buildup.
The FAA granted the certification upon completion of final flight tests in Alaska in October. Those tests also included evaluations by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Transport Canada. Sikorsky is seeking S-92 RIPS certification from both agencies.
Sikorsky also plans to incorporate similar rotor ice protection equipment on the new S-76D helicopter, which is slated to enter service in 2008.