CARY, N.C., 9 Oct. 2014. United Technologies Corp. [NYSE:UTX] subsidiary Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. unveiled the first of two S-97 RAIDER helicopter prototypes. Sikorsky engineers teamed with rotorcraft industry specialists—including LORD Corp., maker of vibration, noise, and motion control management solutions—to develop this follow-up to the company’s X2 Technology demonstrator aircraft.
Designed for military missions, including special operations, the S-97 RAIDER features next-generation technologies in an aerial scout aircraft, capable of carrying six troops and external weapons.
These activities in the S-97 RAIDER program’s test flight phase were made possible by LORD Corp.’s elastomeric bearings and Active Vibration Control System, which enable the aircraft to demonstrate significant improvements to a conventional helicopter’s performance. Sikorsky also uses LORD UltraConductive solutions across its platform for direct lightning strike protection, grounding of fasteners, and ease of manufacturability.
“The S-97 new coaxial rotor system presented an opportunity for LORD to feature a solution utilizing our core technologies,” says Karen Doehrel, staff program manager, LORD Corp. “The design of our elastomeric bearings meets the very specific requirements of the S-97 rotor system and allows the rotor blades to pitch, which gives the pilot control over the aircraft. Our Active Vibration Control System keeps vibration levels down to a minimum.”
“When Sikorsky launched the RAIDER program four years ago, it issued a challenge to industry experts to join us on a mission to develop and produce an aircraft with revolutionary capabilities that are above and beyond existing technologies,” says Mark Miller, vice president of Sikorsky Research & Engineering. “LORD Corp. accepted that challenge as one of 53 critical partners on this program, and has delivered on its promise to support the mission. Today, we stand as a solid industry team introducing the next generation of military aircraft.”
The S-97 RAIDER helicopter will feature coaxial counter-rotating main rotors and a pusher propeller that will provide dramatic improvements in maneuverability, hover efficiency, high/hot climate performance, and speed. Sikorsky will offer the RAIDER aircraft as a replacement for the U.S. Army’s OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter fleet based on the Army’s future operational and financial priorities.