Sikorsky Aircraft selected 35 companies to join its team assembling two prototype S-97 RAIDER helicopters for evaluation by the U.S. military. Self-funded by Sikorsky and its team members, the RAIDER program will demonstrate the military applications of Sikorsky’s X2 (left) rotorcraft design, which proved its capability in 2010 to double the cruise speed of conventional helicopters.
“As designer and integrator of a next-generation light tactical helicopter capable of outperforming conventional helicopters in almost every performance parameter, it was imperative we chose our suppliers for the maturity of their advanced aerospace products and technologies,” said Doug Shidler, Sikorsky’s RAIDER program manager. “Product maturity will enable Sikorsky to demonstrate the RAIDER helicopter’s flight and aerodynamic performance in a simulated military environment starting in 2014, and ultimately bring X2-designed helicopters to future customers quickly and at a very affordable price.”
“We anticipate these S-97 RAIDER prototypes will provide dramatic improvements over conventional helicopters in maneuverability, range, endurance, altitude and hover efficiency — in addition to speed,” said Chris Van Buiten, Vice President of Sikorsky Innovations, the advanced engineering and development division of Sikorsky Aircraft that has pioneered the X2 design. “These attributes of the RAIDER aircraft could very well change the way the U.S. military fights with helicopters.”
The suppliers are as follows:
Avionics: Avionics Instruments (N.J.); BAE Systems (N.Y.); Eaton (Miss.); Esterline Control Systems (Calif., Ill., Wash.); Garmin (Kan.); Goodrich (Fla., Minn.); Hamilton Sundstrand (Conn.); Honeywell (Ariz.); Lockheed Martin (N.Y.); Northrop Grumman (Calif.).
Structures: Aurora (Va., Miss.); Cytec (Calif., N.Y.); East/West Industries (N.Y.); Fischer (Germany); Hexcel (Conn., Utah); PPG (Calif.); Triumph Group (Wash.).
Propulsion: Ametek (N.Y.); Ducommun (N.Y.); Eaton (Mich.); General Electric (Mass.); Honeywell (Ariz.); Liquid Measurement Systems (Vt.); Meggitt-USA (Ga., Calif.); Spectrum (Conn.); TIGHITCO (Conn.).
Rotors and transmission: Emerson-McGill (Ind.); Fatigue Technology (Wash.); FAG Canada; Goodrich (N.Y.); Hamilton Sundstrand (Conn., Ill.); Kamatics (Conn.); LORD Corp. (Pa.); Pankl Aerospace (Calif.); Parker Aerospace (Calif., Ga.); Schultz (Calif.); SIFCO (Ohio); Triumph Group (Utah, Mich.).
Blades: Cytec (Calif., N.Y.);Eagle Aviation Technologies (Va.); Hexcel (Conn., Utah); Rotating Composites (Conn.).
Sikorsky will invest about 75 percent of the RAIDER program’s expected cost, with suppliers investing about 25 percent. Like the X2 demonstrator aircraft, the single engine S-97 RAIDER helicopter will feature coaxial counter-rotating main rotors and a pusher propeller to provide cruise speeds up to 220 knots (253 mph) with dash speeds up to 240 knots (276 mph) or higher.