A new helicopter prototype that can fly twice as fast as conventional designs and aims to usher in a new generation of military aircraft has been unveiled.
The Sikorsky S-97 Raider can cruise at speeds of 253mph, which manufacturers say is twice the speed of conventional helicopters.
The Raider has a double rotor with the blades moving in opposite directions, meaning there is no need for a tail rotor. Instead the Raider has a pusher propeller at the back, allowing it to reach record-breaking speeds.
The aircraft was unveiled in America last week and test flights are set to begin by the end of the year.
Sikorsky hopes to eventually sell the helicopters to the US military for use as an armed aerial scout and also a light assault aircraft. The firm is pitching it as a replacement for the US Army’s OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters and for use by special operations troops.
Steve Engebretson, director of Sikorsky’s advanced military program, told The Telegraph: “We are demonstrating a new vertical lift propulsion system that will dramatically change the way helicopters are operated in a military environment.”
A Sikorsky experimental helicopter, called X2, used same double rotor technology to set a speed record of 291mph in 2010.
The firm believes the Raider is more manoeuvrable than tilt rotor aircraft such as the V22 Osprey already used by the American military.
Mark Hammond, the Raider Project manager, said: “It won’t fly quite as fast as a tilt rotor. A tilt rotor is more like a plane that can also hover. Raider is more a helicopter that can fly really fast. It’s more manoeuvrable.”
The single-engine Raider has a composite airframe and a maximum weight of a just over 11,000lbs. It will be able to carry weapons and sensors as needed. The cockpit holds two pilots seated side by side and the cabin has room for up to six combat-equipped troops, or additional fuel and ammunition for extended missions.
Sikorsky and its suppliers have funded the prototype themselves. Deep US defence cuts mean it is unclear when the Pentagon will be in the market for new helicopters.
There are several new advances in the world of aviation.
Global Aviation Technologies expands with Global Aviation Maintenance
Woody Cottner hopes the new Global Aviation Maintenance will help promote Global Aviation Technologies.
BY CARRIE RENGERS
The Wichita Eagle
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Global Aviation Technologies has expanded with a new division and facility and has more expansion plans for the future.
The company, which Woody Cottner founded in 2002, is an engineering firm that also does wire harness manufacturing and electrical sub-assembly manufacturing.
Now, it also does aircraft maintenance through the new Global Aviation Maintenance.
Cottner says that side of the business had always been in the plans.
“It just took us a while to get there.”
Global Aviation Maintenance is in half of a 20,000-square-foot hangar at 1600 S. Airport Road.
“The planes have started arriving,” Cottner says.
“We want to augment what we’re doing on the engineering and production side and help us control our own destiny,” he says of doing maintenance work.
“When you’re doing it with others, you have to rely on the third party to promote your product. Our products didn’t get the attention that they deserved.”
Global Aviation Technologies is in 14,000 square feet at 1704 S. Bear.
Cottner says he’s planning to expand eventually with a 40,000-square-foot building he’s already planning near K-15 and Hoover, just south of Case New Holland.
He says he’s “just waiting to allow our growth to determine when we pull the trigger on that.”
Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/news/business/biz-columns-blogs/carrie-rengers/article4051135.html#storylink=cpy
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