S97 Raider and JMR/FVL program News + Videos


Tyrant King
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US Helo Leaders Take on Dust, New Engines
By Joe Gould4:51 p.m. EDT March 30, 2015

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Even as sequestration budget cuts loom over US Army aviation, helicopter modernization plans are driving numerous requirements, officials said at an industry conference here.

Army officials portrayed Army aviation as active around the globe, with a need to be ready for anything. Behind the Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP), the greatest emphasis is on technology to see and fly through dust, fog and other obscurants, known as degraded visual environment-mitigation (DVE-M).

"If we are going to maintain overmatch and truly be game-changing, we have to fly and fight no matter what the weather, no matter what the visual conditions are," said Maj. Gen. Michael Lundy, commander of the Army Aviation Center of Excellence. Lundy and others spoke at the Army Aviation Association of America summit here on Monday.

Funded by a raft of research and development dollars, the plan is to accelerate DVE-M efforts and potentially collaborate with ground vehicle developers. "The same stuff we put on our aircraft we have to have on our tanks and our vehicles because they've got to be able to fight in that same degraded visual environment," Lundy said.

"That's disruptive technology that we've got right now, that's maturing, and now's the right time to go after that," Lundy said.

The DVE-M program fuses images of multiple sensor technologies such as radar, infrared, and laser detection and ranging, also known as ladar, used with advanced flight controls and visual cueing and symbology. The program is led by the Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.

An analysis of alternatives is underway. Army officials have said that millimeter wave radar has the greatest obscurant penetration capability in most DVE conditions, but lower visual resolution than either infrared or ladar. How the Army would mitigate the weight of multiple sensor technologies is an open question.

Telephonics, an aerospace and defense firm that specializes in maritime surveillance radars, says it has a solution: a millimeter wave radar sensor that provides a constant, real-time image of the aircraft's forward viewing area via a 3D visual display.

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Sierra Nevada, which has already sold a number of its helicopter autonomous landing systems to the Army, also makes a 3D image-rendering radar that uses a 94 gigahertz frequency.

BAE offers Brownout Landing Aid System Technology (BLAST), which also uses a 94 gigahertz millimeter-wave radar to overlay images on existing terrain data in a cockpit display — helmet-mounted or otherwise.

The conversation comes in a year that Army aviation has operated in 36 countries across a variety of missions, including in Pacific exercises, the anti-Ebola mission in Africa, along with operations in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.

As the Army presses its aviation restructure plan, officials hammered the message that the plan, which avoids $12 billion in costs, is vital for preserving readiness and modernization funds. In particular, the UH-60 Black Hawk would not be upgraded until 2028 without it, according to Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Daniel Allyn.

Calling sequestration "the greatest threat to the Army's dominance in the future," Allyn asked senior leaders to inform appointed and elected leaders about its impact. "We cannot absorb the ax wounds of additional sequestration's blind, budget-driven cuts," he said.

Without the aviation restructuring, sequestration would impact a number of plans underway, Lundy said: ongoing purchase AH-64E Apaches, the Chinook Block II program and an avionics upgrade for the UH-60L to UH-60V.

The restructure calls for the service to divest its fleet of OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopters and use the AH-64 Apache to fill the Kiowa's reconnaissance and scout role. It would pull Apaches from the National Guard inventory to fill the gap, and, in turn, provide the Guard with UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. The Army would also cut three of its 13 combat aviation brigades, while the Guard would retain all 10 of its brigades.

Heidi Shyu, the Army's head of acquisition, favors the restructuring as a means of cutting costs as part of a modernization strategy.

"We've got to divest aging systems out of our portfolio, the stuff that we can no longer afford to maintain because it's really not being used," she said. "It's like cleaning out your garage."

With an eye toward the shrinking Army and simplified training, Lundy listed future requirements to include simpler communications and avionics, unmanned systems that require less manning, a common cockpit between multiple airframes, as well as a means to reduce the maintenance burden on aircraft.

"Every time we put a piece of equipment and it takes specialization, that's not a good piece of equipment," he said. "Not everything needs to be world-class … We're looking very hard at our requirements."

Army networks have "grown apart from Army aviation," Lundy said, and to fix it, the service is pursuing the Soldier Radio Waveform "to rejoin the air-ground team."

Anticipating future operations in the "tight urban canyons" of mega-cities, Lundy said, the Army will need the superior power promised by ITEP and the Army's forward-leaning Future Vertical Lift program.

For aviation modernization, ITEP is the No. 1 priority, according to Lundy and Shyu, as means of extending the range, speed and power of its Black Hawk and Apache helicopters. The program is heading for preliminary design requests in May as it aims for a 2023 production goal.

After the May requests, contracts are expected to be awarded to the two competitors in March 2016, a request for proposals issued for the engineering and manufacturing design phase in early 2017, and a downselect to one of two competitors in 2018 before beginning low-rate production.

Advanced Turbine Engine Co., a 50-50 joint venture of Pratt & Whitney and Honeywell, is competing with GE Aviation to develop a drop-in replacement for the legacy GE T700 engines that power the Boeing AH-64 Apache and Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk fleets.

The engine is also expected to power light rotary-winged aircraft expected to emerge from the service's nascent Future Vertical Lift program. However, Lundy on Monday said the FVL effort is not expected to field a helicopter, and the Army cannot wait.

The service has set target goals of 50 percent more power and 25 percent better fuel efficiency to improve capability, particularly in "high and hot" environments, such as Iraq or Afghanistan. ITEP would be a 3,000-horsepower engine and the T700 is a 2,000-horsepower engine.

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I felt this conversation would overlap nicely here.

I have to take issue on the idea that the Sikorsky entrant to the JMR competition will be able to attain 250 Kts cruise speed. I think there has been some typical journalistic sloppiness here which has been repeated in several web sites. I can't find any Sikorsky sourced specifications other than the S 97 Raider which is here:
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This lists cruise speed > 200 Kts. This makes sense as the X2 demonstrator maxed out at 256Kts absolute top speed. There are intrinsic limits to how fast this technology can go related to supersonic blade speed on the advancing rotor and stall magnitude on the retreating blade. The issue on the stall magnitude is the performance limits of the counter vibration system. Also note that the range of the S 97 is listed at 600KM. The thing about tilt rotors is the double benefit of range plus speed at the same time. Imagine a car salesman saying you get better gas mileage the faster you go. That is what the tiltrotor achieves (relative to a helicopter).

For the V 22, the specs are here:
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Note that cruise speed is listed at 280 Kts. I remember that cruise speed had been limited by software to 240 Kts but that has been lifted. It may still be used as a best range cruise speed.

In the end, if Bell can get the V 280 executed at a competitive price, the Army will have a hard time picking Sikorsky. There would be an automatic protest filing with the GAO and the Army would have to show where the V 280 was deficient (range/speed/reliability etc).


Tyrant King
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The X2 demonstrator was powered by a single LHTEC T800 with a 1300-1800 SHP The Raider is being buit around a single GE T706 at 1500-3000 SHP the Defiant and Valor are both banking on GE 3000 or HPW3000 engines. the Defiant demo will however use T55 engines generating 4,867 shp. The power to weight allows the shift in higher speed if the Raider were twin engine or upengined it would also gain higher performance


Tyrant King
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Sikorsky outlines goals, timeline for S-97 flight test
Source: Flightglobal.com
in 2 hours
As Sikorsky continues to inch toward first flight of the S-97 Raider demonstrator, company officials have outlined the scope and duration of the flight test programme for the high-speed, compound helicopter.

Sikorsky has identified three key performance parameters for the S-97 to achieve over a roughly 1.5-year long flight test programme, says Chris Van Buiten, Sikorsky’s vice-president of engineering.

The flight test programme will seek to achieve a manoevrability record for a rotorcraft: a 3g-turn at a maximum speed of 220kt, Van Buiten says in an interview.

“That’s something a helicopter has kind of never done,” Van Buiten says.

The second goal is to fly at 220kt while carrying a full weapons load, he says.

Finally, the S-97 will attempt to demonstrate a new level of hover efficiency for a rotory wing aircraft, he says.

There is an aerodynamic metric known as the isolated rotor figure of merit. A score of 100 means the rotor system is using the rotor’s power as efficiently as theoretically possible. Most helicopter rotor systems are unable to exceed a score of 75, Van Buiten says. Sikorsky declines to reveal the desired score for the S-97, but Van Vuiten notes the company has demonstrated a score of up to 80.

The higher the score, the greater the performance of the vehicle in hover. Sikorsky wants to demonstrate that the S-97 can achieve a hover with a full weapons load at 6,000ft elevation with a temperature at 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit), Van Buiten says. With a reduced load, the S-97 also should be able to hover at 10,000ft at the same temperature hevel, he adds.

Sikorksy first demonstrated the coxial-compound, rigid-rotor configuration with the Collier Trophy-winning X2 prototype, which flew 23 test flights. The number of sorties for the S-97 will be slightly higher to demonstrate the full envelope for the aircraft.

What happens after Sikorsky completes the S-97 demonstration is unclear. The aircraft is too small to compete for the army’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) requirement. The army is also eliminating its armed aerial scout fleet as part of a broader restructuring of the aviation branch, although army officials say the requirement for such a helicopter remains.

“Our job is to demonstrate a super-compelling option and show that it’s possible to have FVL-level technology much sooner than you thought,” Van Buiten says.. “Raider serves as a great risk reduction for that technology.”
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Bell, Lockheed show off futuristic flightdeck for V-280
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Source: Flightglobal.com
3 hours ago
Bell Helicopter and
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unveiled a single-screen glass cockpit concept in the V-280 tiltrotor mock-up displayed at an army aviation conference on 30 March.

The futuristic design concept stretches across the full width of the instrument panel under the glare shield, filling a space usually occupied by several multi-function displays.

In development under the US Army’s joint multirole-technology demonstrator (JMR-TD) programme, the actual V-280 flight deck will contain four conventional multi-function displays.

The JMR-TD will help the army shape requirements for a family of Future Vertical Lift (FVL) aircraft that will not become operational for nearly two decades, so the single-screen concept was unveiled at the Army Aviation Association of America conference to inspire discussion about the requirements for the future cockpit.

The seamless touchscreen display combines and overlays digital instruments over sensor inputs. Bell partnered with Lockheed to provide the mission systems for the V-280. The latter is proposing several technologies originally developed for the
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, including the distributed aperture system and the electro-optical targeting system.

Also mimicking the F-35, Lockheed’s sensor fusion algorithms would allow the V-280 to pass onboard health and targeting information between other aircraft.

Bell acknowledges the visual display technology remains years, if not decades, from coming to fruition. To survive a strike by bullets or shrapnel, the single-screen layout must be constructed as a mesh of integrated panels. That way a single damaged panel would not wipe out the entire screen.
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Tyrant King
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That's one heck of a display.
Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Army Common Cockpit Effort About Architecture, Backbone Allowing Change
By Pat Host

The Army views its common aviation cockpit concept as an architecture and backbone that allows a cockpit to evolve over time as opposed to simply components, according to a key official.

"We want to make sure the backbone not only allows the evolution of those vehicles over time but the evolution of the subcomponent," Dan Bailey, Army program director for Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) and Future Vertical Lift (FVL), told an audience at the Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA) conference.

Bailey said the Army's JMR TD team is looking at acquistion strategies that would allow such open architecture (OA) approach to future cockpits. Maybe one requirment, he said, is to put in a new architecture in a couple of years. Or maybe there's not an OA characteristic that lasts forever, Bailey said.

Though the common cockpit effort has been years in development, Bailey said that doesn't mean that time has been wasted. The Army, he said, is going through the same ongoing process that allowed Apple's successful iPhone to become what it is today.

"Over time, you learn, and that's the process we're going through," Bailey said. "We're learning and we're understanding."

The Army also views its common cockpit concept as focused on standard software interfaces. Army Program Executive Officer (PEO) for Aviation Brig. Gen. Robert Marion said here Tuesday such an approach makes defining interfaces and standards key.

"If you weren't the original design and development and producer of a cockpit, we can still leverage your capability on a platform in the future," Marion said.

Marion said digitization of the cockpit is an important part of common cockpit evolution. As the Army bought CH-47 Chinooks in the 1960s, UH-60 Black Hawks in the '70s and AH-64 Apaches in the '80s, he said, the service got to to digitization in each of those platforms at different points in time.

Marion said the UH-60V Black Hawk, as the Army's last group of non-digitized aircraft in this enterprise, is the service's opportunity to try to build standard interfaces. This, he said, will allow the Army to move forward with a cockpit design that it could leverage off multiple competitors in the future.

The FVL program is for the Army's next generation of helicopters while JMR TD is a science and technology (S&T) demonstration intended to mitigate risk for the FVL development program through the testing of advanced technologies and efficient configurations, according to the Army. The service, last August, selected
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Textron and a Sikorsky-
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[BA] team for the technology and flight demonstration phase of the envisioned JMR helicopter.

Sikorsky and
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are developing the SB>1 Defiant, a medium-lift helicopter and derivative of Sikorsky's X2 coaxial design. Honeywell said Tuesday it joined the Sikorsky-Boeing team to develop and build the SB>1 Defiant, providing its current and next-generation Health and Usage Monitoring Systems (HUMS) to the team's flying demonstrator. Honeywell will also provide its T-55 engine, auxiliary power unit generator, air turbine starter and start control valve, according to a company statement.

Bell is developing the V-280 tilt-rotor aircraft for FVL.
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Friday, April 3, 2015

Lord Corporation Joins Sikorsky-Boeing Team to Build Joint Multi-Role Tech Demonstrator
LORD Corporation, a leader in the management of vibration, noise and motion control, has joined the Sikorsky-
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team to develop and build the SB>1 DEFIANT™ technology demonstrator for the U.S. Army’s Joint Multi-Role (JMR) Technology Demonstrator program.

The Sikorsky-
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SB>1 DEFIANT™ technology demonstrator is based on Sikorsky’s X2 Technology™ rotorcraft design with counter-rotating coaxial main rotors and a pusher propeller, and advanced fly-by-wire system. The Army last year selected the Sikorsky-Boeing team as one of two industry teams to proceed with the development of demonstration aircraft. The two demonstrators are expected to fly in 2017.

As a member of the SB>1 DEFIANT™ technology demonstrator team, LORD is responsible for active vibration control systems and tension-torsion rotor head components. LORD was announced as a JMR supplier along with more than 40 other companies during the annual Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA) industry trade show.
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Tyrant King
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Sikorsky/Boeing Assembles Defiant Team For JMR Demo
Apr 12, 2015 Graham Warwick Aviation Week & Space Technology

Components for the SB-1 Defiant high-speed rotorcraft will begin arriving at Sikorsky and Boeing this year as the team begins building the system integration laboratory, propulsion system testbed and eventually the flight vehicle for the U.S. Army’s Joint Multi-Role (JMR) technology demonstration.

The team has announced 48 suppliers for the Defiant, with more selections to come. Two-thirds of the companies listed are partners that are investing in the program with in-kind labor or by providing parts, says Doug Shidler, Sikorsky’s JMR program director.

The program to demonstrate technology for the Army’s next generation of rotorcraft involves significant cost-sharing by industry. A recent Sikorsky investor presentation values JMR at $500 million, but in August 2014, when it signed agreements with both Bell and Sikorsky/Boeing to build flight demonstrators, the Army said its funding for the air-vehicle phase of JMR is $217 million.

Critical design review for the Defiant demonstrator is scheduled for the latter part of this year, with the system integration lab (SIL) to be operational in the first part of next year, says Shidler. “Mid next year we will start final assembly,” he says. First flight is planned by the end of fiscal 2017.

“We will start with the SIL to ensure all the electronics are working together. Then the propulsion system testbed [PSTB] will come on line early in 2017 to test the dynamic components,” says Pat Donnelly, Boeing’s JMR program manager.

Suppliers have signed up just for the JMR demo, as the future of FVL remains uncertain. Credit: Sikorsky/Boeing

The 230-kt.-cruise Defiant will have rigid coaxial rotors and a tail-mounted propulsor with clutch, all driven by two Honeywell T55 turboshaft engines. “The PSTB will validate all the systems are working and allow us to get some time on the components,’ says Donnelly.

Airframe partners are Swift Engineering for the fuselage, Triumph Group for landing gear, Martin-Baker for crew seats, East/West Industries for cabin seats and PPG for transparencies. Swift will build the composite fuselage and deliver it to Sikorsky’s West Palm Beach, Florida, development flight-test center for final assembly, says Shidler. Boeing will produce the rotor blades and perform final assembly of the main-rotor gearbox, says Donnelly.

The gearbox leverages both companies’ experience building and testing different transmission designs. “In the end we have a product neither of us could have come up with independently,” says Shidler. “We believe we have the lowest-weight, most-efficient solution,” adds Donnelly.

Several companies are providing components of the vehicle management system, but the principal supplier is Sikorsky’s United Technologies sister company UTC Aerospace Systems, which is developing the flight control computers and cockpit interface units. Lord is providing the active vibration control system and Honeywell the integrated vehicle health management computer.

The Defiant’s cockpit “is just what is basic to flying the aircraft,” says Donnelly, noting that a second phase of the JMR program will demonstrate mission-system technology. “We are trying to reuse what we can from existing programs.” Aitech is supplying the mission computer, Garmin the radio, L-3 the displays and Northrop Grumman the inertial navigation unit.

Sikorsky went through a similar supplier selection process for its industry-funded effort to build two prototypes of the S-97 Raider high-speed light tactical helicopter, the first of which is being prepared for flight, but the JMR selection was run independently.

Some of the same suppliers are now on the Defiant, but many are different, says Shidler. “When you want to build a one-off versus 2,200 aircraft, that’s attractive to a different type of company,” says Donnelly, noting prototyping specialist Swift “is good at building one-offs.”

The Army, meanwhile, says it expects to complete its business case analysis for the follow-on Future Vertical Lift (FVL) Medium program of record by the end of this year, with a “materiel development decision” planned for the end of fiscal 2016. This would launch the analysis of alternatives that would lead to a Milestone A decision in 2019 that would launch the program and begin technology maturation. The Army expects to award contracts in 2021; under current plans, the first aviation brigade will be equipped with FVL in 2037.

Industry and the Army are concerned that further budget cuts could force a delay between completion of the JMR technology demonstration in 2019 and the start of FVL Medium design. “We are concerned that a long gap before establishing platform requirements [for FVL] could have an impact on retaining talented staff,” says Shidler, adding the near-term issue is maintaining industry’s technical capability to design an efficient rotorcraft.
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Tyrant King
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Army aviation continues efforts for technology development
April 13, 2015

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Story Highlights
  • The Army is continuing its ties with AVX Aircraft Company and Karem Aircraft Incorporated.

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Army Technology Magazine
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REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (April 13, 2015) -- The Army recently extended technology investment agreements with two commercial companies to continue concept refinement and technology maturation for future vertical lift, or FVL, research.

The Army is continuing its ties with AVX Aircraft Company and Karem Aircraft Incorporated.

"This is an opportunity to execute further technology maturation with these two partners and expand the knowledge base of the Joint Multirole [JMR] Technology Demonstrator [TD] efforts in support of FVL decision points," Dan Bailey, program director for FVL/JMR, said.

AVX will mature coaxial compound design, focusing on aerodynamic stability, high fidelity computational fluid dynamic analysis and limited wind tunnel testing scheduled for 2015-2017.

Karem Aircraft will fabricate and test subcomponent articles of its optimum-speed tiltrotor concept, which will include rotor blades and hub components such as actuators, bearings and electronics. These steps are part of a hub integration functionality test to prepare for a full-scale wing-rotor ground tie-down test in the future.

Karem Aircraft and AVX join Bell Helicopter and Boeing-Sikorsky Aircraft in the continuing efforts to refine requirements and reduce risk for the FVL family of aircraft.

The JMR TD will demonstrate a mix of capabilities to investigate realistic design trades and enabling technologies. Results from the JMR TD air vehicle demo will inform the FVL effort of promising vehicle configurations, the maturity of enabling technologies, attainable performance and capabilities, and highlight the affordable technical solutions required to achieve those capabilities.

The Army continues to explore the art of the possible, which includes open dialog with these and other vendors, Bailey said. "The intent of the JMR TD effort is to maximize the knowledge gain and risk reduction toward an anticipated future vertical lift acquisition program."

The Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to develop technology and engineering solutions for America's Soldiers.

RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. AMC is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness--technology, acquisition support, materiel development, logistics power projection and sustainment--to the total force, across the spectrum of joint military
operations. If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it or communicates with it, AMC provides it.
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Tyrant King
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LOOK UP in the SKY IT's A Bird, It's a Plane, No IT"S RAIDER!
S-97 Raider makes debut test flight
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Source: Flightglobal.com
in 4 hours
Sikorsky has completed a first flight of the self-funded S-97 Raider at the company's flight test facility in
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, Florida, to open a year-long test and demonstration phase for the high-speed, compound helicopter proposed for light attack, scout and special utility missions.

The S-97’s coaxial-compound, rigid-rotor configuration will eventually be tested at speeds up to 220kt – or about 50kt faster than the speed limit of most conventional helicopters – but the maiden flight on 22 May focused on exploring the low-speed envelope in a degraded mode of the fly-by-wire system.

Sikorsky chief pilot Bill Fell and co-pilot Kevin Bredenbeck completed three take-offs and landings during the hour-long sortie and evaluated the aircraft’s handling in all four cardinal directions at speeds up to 10kt.

“It was quite the aggressive first flight for a helicopter,” says Bredenbeck, who piloted the X2, the S-97’s proof-of-concept demonstrator.


Sikorsky launched the S-97 project in 2010 after completing a series of record-breaking demonstration flights of the X2.

A 48-month technology demonstration programme was extended by more than four months to complete several new technologies. The S-97 is configured as a testbed for a variety of development projects within Sikorsky, including components made through additive manufacturing, a low-fastener-count approach to structural assembly, and new composite materials.

“The S-97 is a testbed for a lot new technology and some of those took a little bit longer,” says Sikorsky vice-president of research and engineering Mark Miller.

The S-97 flies faster than most helicopters because it replaces a tail-rotor with a pusher propeller, which was left deactivated for the first flight test. The counter-torque function of the tail rotor is replaced with a counter-rotating, coaxial rotor system that provides vertical thrust for takeoff and landing.

The rigid blades of the coaxial rotor system provide another benefit over a conventional Sikorsky helicopter.

“You have a phenomenal amount of control power with this very rigid rotor,” Fell says. “There is no lag. The aircraft responds immediately to your control input.”

The 5t-class S-97 is part of a wave of industry investment in high-speed technology.

The Bell
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now flies faster than 260kt and land vertically using a tiltrotor configuration. Bell Helicopter is currently developing the V-280 Valor tiltrotor demonstrator with
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The V-280 is competing against a Sikorsky-Boeing compound helicopter design based on same X2 technology as the S-97 with the 13.5t-class SB-1 Defiant.

The V-280 and SB-1 will perform a series of flight tests to validate the high-speed technology under the army’s joint multi-role technology demonstrator (JMR-TD) programme.

Both aircraft designs are expected to compete for a follow-on acquisition programme called Future Vertical Lift, which initially aims to replace the army’s
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fleets with a single, high-speed rotorcraft.