Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Laker who became one of the NBA’s all-time superstars and went on to become an Oscar-winning producer, died this morning in a private helicoper crash in Calabasas, Calif.
Bryant was traveling with others, and authorities said 5 people are confirmed dead. Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, was not among the passengers.
Get to Know Kobe’s Sikorsky S-76
The Sikorsky S-76 is an American medium-size commercial utility helicopter, manufactured by the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. The S-76 features twin turboshaft engines, four-bladed main and tail rotors and retractable landing gear.
Sikorsky introduced the S-76C+ in 1996 and produced nearly 200 of them over a decade. The aircraft—which was rated for single-pilot instrument operation—features a composite main rotor system that delivers enhanced performance, active noise canceling and vibration control, and a pair of Turbomeca Arriel 2S1 engines with full authority digital engine control.
Of course, a new S-76D has even more power than a C++ (14 percent more on takeoff) and burns less fuel (8 percent). But a nicely equipped one will set you back at least $12 million to $15 million, while you can buy a newer C+ for around $3 million.
You can give an S-76C+ other retrofits to make it more contemporary, adding LED lighting, satphone, monitors, beverage drawers and snack nooks, Blu-ray players, high-end speakers, luxurious leathers, and expensive veneers.
Nicknamed the “Kobe Copter”