The British royal household has begun using a new S-76++ helicopter delivered by Sikorsky to the Royal Travel Office.

The twin-engine S-76++ can transport up to 13 passengers a distance of 411nm, at a maximum cruise speed of 155kt.

The helicopter features engine, air vehicle, interior and avionics upgrades including the more powerful Turbomeca Arriel 2S2 engine, an inlet barrier filter to protect the engine from erosion and environmental contaminants, a VIP interior and an optional health and usage monitoring system.

A main gearbox using quiet zone technology to reduce interior noise levels without any weight maintenance penalties is also part of the upgrade.

The Queen’s helicopter flight manager and chief pilot Captain Christopher Pittaway said that the new S76C++ helicopter would continue to provide the royal family with a high-quality and efficient helicopter travel service.

“It most closely meets the mission requirements by providing a quiet and comfortable cabin environment, low carbon footprint and best value for money,” he said.

The S-76++ entered service in September 2009.