Tag Archives: S-97 Raider

The First flight
of the Raider

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a United Technologies Corp. subsidiary, on May 22 announced the successful first flight of the S-97 Raider helicopter, a rigid coaxial rotor prototype designed to demonstrate a game-changing combination of maneuverability, hover ability, range, speed, endurance and survivability. The first flight was conducted at Sikorsky’s Development Flight Center (DFC) where the two-prototype Raider helicopter test program is based.

Sikorsky’s S-97 Raider, the company’s latest military design, during its maiden flight on May 22
Sikorsky’s S-97 Raider, the company’s latest military design, during its maiden flight on May 22

«Sikorsky has a long tradition of pioneering new aviation technologies including the first practical helicopter. Today’s first flight of the S-97 Raider represents the latest leap forward for Sikorsky, our customers, and the rotorcraft industry», said Sikorsky President Bob Leduc. «The industry has demanded high performance and high value from the products that execute critical missions, and, today, the Raider has given us an exciting look at the future of vertical flight».

During the first test flight, which lasted approximately one hour, S-97 Raider Pilot Bill Fell and Co-Pilot Kevin Bredenbeck took the aircraft through a series of maneuvers designed to test the aircraft’s hover and low-speed capability. With first flight achieved, the Raider now moves into more progressive flight-testing to demonstrate key performance parameters critical to future combat operations including armed reconnaissance, light assault, light attack and special operations. The Raider program is part of the portfolio of Sikorsky Innovations, the technology development organization within Sikorsky Aircraft’s Research & Engineering division.

«It is the Sikorsky Innovations charter to identify the toughest challenges in vertical flight, and to demonstrate solutions to them», said Mark Miller, Vice President of Research & Engineering. «Getting an all-new aircraft into flight, especially one with game-changing capabilities, is a remarkable feat. With this first flight of the S-97 Raider helicopter, Sikorsky Aircraft is proving once again that the tough challenges will always propel us forward».

«This exemplifies the very DNA of Sikorsky Aircraft: to explore, to challenge, to pioneer, and in doing so, to ultimately change what is possible for our customers», Miller said. «It is exciting that the S-97 Raider helicopter leverages a mix of evolutionary rotorcraft technologies that, when combined in this new way, results in revolutionary capability».

The Sikorsky S-97 Raider helicopter is poised to realize this vision and revolutionize next-generation military aviation
The Sikorsky S-97 Raider helicopter is poised to realize this vision and revolutionize next-generation military aviation

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/444 km/h.

«Based on the capabilities that were demonstrated today, Sikorsky is positioned to develop the S-97 Raider helicopter’s game-changing capabilities to enable helicopter forces to out-perform on the battleground of tomorrow», said Samir Mehta, President of Sikorsky Defense Systems & Services. «With the Raider aircraft’s unmatched combination of speed, maneuverability and acoustic signature, Sikorsky Aircraft is ideally positioned to provide the military with essential mission-specific capabilities. With this flight, we have started the demonstration of solutions to not only near-term capability gaps but also solutions for future vertical lift needs».

The second S-97 Raider helicopter prototype is on track to complete final assembly in 2015. A demonstration tour of the Raider helicopter is planned for 2016.

X2 technology is scalable to a variety of military missions including light assault, light attack, armed reconnaissance, close-air support, combat search and rescue, and unmanned applications
X2 technology is scalable to a variety of military missions including light assault, light attack, armed reconnaissance, close-air support, combat search and rescue, and unmanned applications

 

Specifications

Aircraft Features

  • Low acoustic signature
  • Exceptional hover capability
  • High cruise speed
  • Agility for close air support
  • Fly-by-wire flight controls

Multi-Mission for Operational Flexibility

  • Internal aux fuel tank for extended range/increased endurance
  • Additional ammunition capacity
  • Six seat cabin
  • Aerial refueling capable

Weights

Maximum gross weight:                     11,400 lbs/5,171 kg

Performance

HOGE* capability:                                 >6K/95

Endurance (standard fuel):              >2.7 h

Range:                                                           >373 miles/600 km

Cruise speed:                                            >240 knots/276 mph/444 km/h

Deployability

C-17 loadout:                                           4 aircraft

Payload

  • Hellfire missiles
  • 70-mm 2.75″ rockets
  • 12,7-mm .50 cal gun
  • 62-mm gun

* HOGE – Hover-Out of Ground Effect. This is the absolute limit of the helicopter’s ability to hover. Factors that contribute to this limit are density altitude, atmospheric temperature, available engine torque, and payload.

 

The S-97 Raider helicopter successfully achieved its first flight at the Sikorsky Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Florida on May 22. Congratulations to Chief Pilot Bill Fell, Co-pilot Kevin Bredenbeck and the entire Raider team

 

The Boeing-Sikorsky SB-1 Defiant

King Stallion

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., recently hosted more than two dozen guests, including delegates from NATO’s Joint Capability Group Vertical Lift (JCGVL), for an up close look at the U.S. Marine Corps’ CH-53K heavy lift helicopter. The group toured Sikorsky’s Florida Assembly & Flight Operations Center where they were able to walk along the production lines for both the CH-53K King Stallion helicopter and Black Hawk H-60M aircraft.

The NATO group was able to see the CH-53K Ground Test Vehicle (GTV), a prototype tethered to the ground
The NATO group was able to see the CH-53K Ground Test Vehicle (GTV), a prototype tethered to the ground

The delegates also had the opportunity to visit Sikorsky’s Development Flight Center (DFC), site of full system testing of the heavy lift helicopter. The NATO group was able to see the CH-53K Ground Test Vehicle (GTV), a prototype tethered to the ground. The delegation was also able to view the CH-53K Engineering Development Model 1 (EDM 1), one of four flight test aircraft.

The visit wrapped up with delegates getting a chance to see the first of two prototypes of the S-97 Raider helicopter, developed by Sikorsky to demonstrate the military application of Sikorsky’s X2 Technology. A second Raider prototype will serve as a demonstrator aircraft, offering key customers an opportunity to experience the capabilities of X2 Technology first hand. The Raider helicopter is a rigid coaxial rotor prototype aircraft ideally suited for armed reconnaissance and a wide range of special operations missions. The coaxial counter-rotating main rotors and pusher propeller provide cruise speeds beyond 220 knots/253 mph/407 km/h, more than double the speed of conventional helicopters in this size class.

The visit to Sikorsky was part of the delegation’s semi-annual meeting taking place in West Palm Beach, Florida.

«We are delighted that our honored NATO guests can be here in West Palm Beach to experience, first-hand, our energy and enthusiasm for our CH-53K aircraft», said Mike Torok, Sikorsky’s CH-53K Program Vice President. «The CH-53K King Stallion is destined to fulfill a significant role in the international heavy lift arena for decades to come».

NATO Committee Chairman Hans-Peter Mueller said the visit provided an opportunity to see the CH-53K helicopter in full scale and appreciate its capabilities. «We thank Sikorsky for its hospitality. The delegates enjoyed the informative tour and recognize the value of spending time with the designers and engineers building this heavy lift helicopter», said Mueller.

Sikorsky leads an industry team developing the CH-53K heavy lift helicopter for the U.S. Marine Corps. The aircraft’s 88,000-pound/39,916 kg maximum gross weight is designed to triple the external load carrying capacity of the CH-53E Super Stallion aircraft to more than 27,000 pounds/12,247 kg over a mission radius of 110 nautical miles/204 km under «high hot» ambient conditions.

U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Hank Vanderborght, H-53 Program Manager at the Naval Air Systems Command, said the CH-53K helicopter program will expand the fleet’s ability to move more material and more rapidly using proven and mature technologies. «Our allies will benefit from the U.S. Marine Corps investment in this next generation heavy lift platform», said Col. Vanderborght. «The CH-53K represents not just the continuation of heavy lift capability but a transformation of what we can do to ensure the Marine Corps remains the most ready force».

Sikorsky continues to conduct tests on four flight test aircraft at its facilities in West Palm Beach and Stratford, Connecticut.

The delegation was also able to view the CH-53K Engineering Development Model 1 (EDM 1), one of four flight test aircraft
The delegation was also able to view the CH-53K Engineering Development Model 1 (EDM 1), one of four flight test aircraft

 

Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion

The CH-53K model will be the world’s premier heavy lift helicopter, leveraging the lessons learned over 50 years of manufacturing and operational success with Sikorsky CH-53A/D/E predecessors. Built to thrive in the modern battlefield, the extremely capable CH-53K aircraft will be intelligent, reliable, low maintenance and survivable across the full spectrum of operating conditions for which it was designed. Expeditionary in nature, the CH-53K aircraft will be fully shipboard compatible and capable of operating from austere and remote forward operating bases. The CH-53K helicopter is the Marine Corps’ critical land and sea based logistics connector.

Sikorsky Tests CH-53K Helicopter for Airframe Structural Strength
Sikorsky Tests CH-53K Helicopter for Airframe Structural Strength

 

General Characteristics

Number of Engines 3
Engine Type T408-GE-400
T408 Engine 7,500 shp/5,595 kw
Maximum Gross Weight (Internal Load) 74,000 lbs/33,566 kg
Maximum Gross Weight (External Load) 88,000 lbs/39,916 kg
Cruise Speed 141 knots/162 mph/261 km/h
Range 460 NM/852 km
AEO* Service Ceiling 14,380 feet/4,383 m
HIGE** Ceiling (MAGW) 13,630 feet/4,155 m
HOGE*** Ceiling (MAGW) 10,080 feet/3,073 m
Cabin Length 30 feet/9.1 m
Cabin Width 9 feet/2.7 m
Cabin Height 6.5 feet/2.0 m
Cabin Area 264.47 feet2/24.57 m2
Cabin Volume 1,735.36 feet3/49.14 m3

* All Engines Operating

** Hover Ceiling In Ground Effect

*** Hover Ceiling Out of Ground Effect

Sikorsky powered ‘on’ the three GE 7,500 shaft horsepower class engines of the first CH-53K heavy lift helicopter prototype, and spun the rotor head without rotor blades
Sikorsky powered ‘on’ the three GE 7,500 shaft horsepower class engines of the first CH-53K heavy lift helicopter prototype, and spun the rotor head without rotor blades

 

Airframe

  • New build hybrid composite airframe structure – provides lighter weight and lower vibration throughout aircraft life
  • Improved hydraulics
  • Large composite sponsons
  • Integrated Vehicle Health Management System (IVHMS)
  • Advanced drive system
  • Improved fuel system with refueling probe
  • Enhanced ballistic protection
  • Crashworthy retracting landing gear
  • Single, dual and triple cargo hook with 3 times the lift capability of the CH-53E to 110 NM/204 km (in hot/high conditions)
  • Advanced light weight armor to protect passengers and crew
  • Crashworthy troop seats
  • Integrated Mobile Aircrew Restraint System (IMARS)
  • Integral cargo handling system with rated capacity for two 463L pallets
  • Self-defense weapons

 

Avionics and Flight Controls

  • Rockwell Collins Avionics Management System
  • Fly-by-wire flight controls
  • Pilot/co-pilot/crew chief/4th crew
  • FLIR with helmet-mounted navigational displays
  • Aircraft Survivability Equipment (ASE)

 

Powerplant and fuel system

  • Three T408-GE-400 engines with less fuel consumption, more power and fewer parts than its predecessor, the T64
  • Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) with pneumatic start
  • Integral EAPPS – Engine Air Particle Protection System

 

Rotor and drive system

  • 4th Generation Composite main rotor blades with advanced airfoils
  • New tail rotor head and blades
  • Elastomeric main rotor head
  • Automatic blade fold
  • Advanced drive system with a split torque design main gearbox

 

Electrical

  • Improved electrical systems
The USMC is planning for eight active CH-53K squadrons, one training squadron, and one reserve squadron
The USMC is planning for eight active CH-53K squadrons, one training squadron, and one reserve squadron