Lone Star Flight Museum Adds First Helicopter to Permanent Collection

A PHI Sikorsky S-76C++ cruises past an oil rig in the Gulf

The Lone Star Flight Museum (LSFM) continues to expand its collection of more than 20 restored, historic aircraft with the acquisition of a Sikorsky S-76A helicopter, which was donated by PHI Inc. Designated S-76 “Spirit” in honor of the 1976 U.S. Bicentennial, it made its first flight in March 1977. In 1982, the S-76 set 12 world records for range, speed, ceiling and climb for its class of helicopter.

“The S-76 was Sikorsky’s first helicopter designed specifically for civilian use, transporting workers to off-shore oil drilling platforms,” said Lt. General (ret) Doug Owens, CEO for Lone Star Flight Museum. “This one, in particular, was assigned to Galveston and Sabine Pass where it supported oil and gas production efforts for Petroleum Helicopters International (PHI Inc.) – a truly fitting way to connect the museum to the petroleum industry.”

The museum’s new S-76A was the 35th production S-76 built and rolled off the assembly line in November 1979. Originally purchased by Houston Helicopters, Inc., it joined the PHI Inc. fleet in 1983. It served with PHI for 33 years and made 36,244 take-offs and landings and accumulated 23,481 flight hours before it was retired in April 2016 and generously donated to the Lone Star Flight Museum by Petroleum Helicopters, Inc.

A PHI Sikorsky S-76C++ taxies at Houma, Louisiana

“We are proud to provide this historic S-76 to the Lone Star Flight Museum,” said Al Gonsoulin, Chairman & CEO, PHI Inc. “This aircraft served us well over the years, and we are honored for its new home to be the Museum, where its history can continue to be shared and its unique role in industry and medicine celebrated.”

PHI, Inc. is one of the world’s leading helicopter services companies, operating over 250 aircraft in over 85 locations around the world. Known industry wide for the relentless pursuit of safe, reliable helicopter transportation, PHI offers services to the offshore Oil and Gas, Air Medical, and Technical Services applications globally.

The Lone Star Flight Museum’s Aircraft Collection is housed in two 30,000 square-foot hangars and features more than 20 beautifully restored, historic aircraft including: Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, North American B-25 Mitchell, Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, Chance Vought F4U Corsair, Douglas SBD Dauntless, Douglas DC-3 and Grumman TBM Avenger. For more information visit www.lonestarflight.org.

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