Sikorsky, October 08, 2015 - WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The S-97 Raider helicopter will be on static display publicly for the first time when the aircraft makes its debut at the Association of United States Army exhibition Oct. 12-14 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
The rigid coaxial rotor prototype Raider helicopter is designed to demonstrate game-changing combination of maneuverability, hover ability, range, speed, endurance and survivability. Sikorsky is a United Technologies Corp. subsidiary
The aircraft to be displayed is one of two prototypes in the Raider helicopter program, based at Sikorsky's Development Flight Center (DFC). The first aircraft is undergoing flight testing. In addition, test activities approaching 50 hours have been conducted to date on a Transmission System Test Bed (TSTB), supporting the endurance testing on the drive system components and positioning the Raider for more robust flight demonstration work. Envelope expansion will include achieving higher flight speeds, a higher load factor, and reaching greater altitudes.
"We are excited to offer the first public view of the Raider helicopter, and what will be the first aircraft to demonstrate Future Vertical Lift-like capabilities," said Steve Engebretson, Sikorsky Director of Advanced Military Programs. "The aircraft has exceeded our expectations in early flight testing, affirming the technology and its potential for executing the future missions of armed reconnaissance, special operations, and light attack or assault. For our customers who haven't seen the aircraft in person yet, we think it will help to give them a hands-on experience with the Raider aircraft, bringing them closer to envisioning the possibilities that are becoming reality."
The aircraft, which has undergone several upgrades since its maiden flight on May 22, completed several takeoffs and landings, low-speed flight in all cardinal directions, and the first run-on landings.
The Raider helicopter program is part of the portfolio of Sikorsky Innovations, the technology development organization within Sikorsky Aircraft's Research & Engineering division.
"The S-97 Raider helicopter is in a very exciting phase of flight testing, as we are seeing the aircraft respond to the innovative engineering that makes this aircraft so remarkable," said Mark Miller, Sikorsky Vice President of Research & Engineering. "We expect to accelerate the flight test program over the coming months, and with each successful flight, we are learning more and validating what we already know: that the S-97 Raider is going to bring tremendous capabilities to our customers. We're looking forward to continuing the conversation with many of them at AUSA."
Sikorsky launched the S-97 Raider helicopter program in September 2010, with objectives of maturing the Collier-Award winning X2™ rotorcraft configuration and demonstrating a helicopter that meets current U.S. Army special operations and armed reconnaissance needs, while maturing technologies for Future Vertical Lift (FVL). The program is 100 percent industry-funded by Sikorsky Aircraft and its 53 industry partners.
Based on the X2 coaxial rotor design, the Raider helicopter is capable of being developed into a unique multi-mission configuration that is able to carry six troops and external weapons. The coaxial counter-rotating main rotors and pusher propeller are expected to provide cruise speeds up to 240 knots (276 mph).
In addition to the Raider aircraft, Sikorsky's AUSA exhibit will include highlights of the Black Hawk helicopter and the Sikorsky-Boeing Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator programs. Sikorsky's booth #1703 will be located in the lower level of the convention hall.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Connecticut, is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Farmington, Connecticut, provides high-technology systems and services to the building and aerospace industries.