To make this website work, we log user data. By using Shephard's online services, you agree to our Privacy Policy, including cookie policy.

Open menu Search

S-97 Raider prototype helicopter enters final assembly

27th September 2013 - 14:19 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


The prototype S-97 Raider helicopter has reached the final stages of assembly at Sikorsky's Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, following the delivery of the fuselage by Aurora Flight Sciences.

Sikorsky will convert the fuselage into a 36-foot-long, 11,000-lb.-gross weight S-97 Raider prototype aircraft. Configured to Sikorsky's X2 coaxial design, the fly-by-wire controlled helicopter will feature counter-rotating rigid main rotor blades for lift and forward flight, and a pusher propeller for high speed acceleration and deceleration.

Debra Zampano, Sikorsky S-97 Raider program director, said: ‘The first fuselage marks a significant milestone for the industry-funded Raider helicopter programme. Aurora has delivered an advanced composite aerostructure designed for our rapid development programme. The Sikorsky team is now ready for final assembly of the prototype Raider aircraft. We look forward to showcasing the aircraft's exceptional performance and value to the US military.’

Sikorsky proved the efficiency of the rigid rotor co-axial design in 2010 when its 6,000-lb. gross weight X2 demonstrator helicopter achieved 250 knot flight speed, or twice the speed of conventional helicopters. It also demonstrated low pilot workload and low acoustic signature.

The Raider prototype aircraft will improve on the X2 demonstrator by showcasing precision manoeuvres in low flight speed, high G turning manoeuvres at over 200 knots, hot day hover performance at altitudes up to 10,000 feet, and significant improvements in payload and flight endurance compared with conventional light tactical helicopters.

Sikorsky intends to begin demonstrating the Raider helicopter's flight capabilities to the US military and other potential customers in 2015.

The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

As part of our promise to deliver comprehensive coverage to Premium News and Defence Insight …

Read full bio

Share to