“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 helicopter has given us an exciting
look at the future of vertical flight.”
During the first test flight, which lasted approximately one
hour, 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 helicopter 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 helicopter 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.”
is 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.”
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).
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 RAIDER helicopter prototype is on track to
complete final assembly in 2015. A demonstration tour of the RAIDER helicopter
is planned for 2016.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Connecticut, is
a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture and service. United
Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Connecticut, provides high-technology
systems and services to the building and aerospace industries. To learn more
about UTC, visit the website at www.utc.com or follow the company on Twitter:
This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning opportunities for development, production and sale of helicopters. Actual results may differ materially from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to changes in government procurement priorities and practices, budget plans, availability of funding and in the type and number of aircraft required; challenges in the design, development, production and support of advanced technologies; as well as other risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to those detailed from time to time in United Technologies Corporation’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings.