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Sikorsky S-97 Raider

Triton

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Sikorsky Innovations VP discusses Raider craft

Chris Van Buiten is the vice president of Technology and Innovation at Sikorsky Aircraft, where he runs a Sikorsky Innovations group. He spoke to Defense News about the Raider craft at the AUSA annual conference in Washington, D.C.

Video link:
http://www.defensenews.com/videos/defense/show-daily/ausa/2015/10/13/73864706/
 

Triton

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"A walk around Sikorsky 'Raider,' contender for world’s fastest military copter"
With speed of over 250mph, Raider flies more like a commercial jet, says pilot.
by Sean Gallagher - Oct 13, 2015 2:27pm PDT

Source:
http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/10/a-walk-around-sikorsky-raider-contender-for-worlds-fastest-military-copter/

WASHINGTON—At the Association of the United States Army's Annual Meeting and Exposition here today, Sikorsky gave press and attendees a guided walk-around of the S-97 Raider, a proof-of-concept helicopter developed without government funding that the company hopes will earn a role with the military as an armed scout helicopter. The Raider is different from just about everything in the helicopter world, using a pair of counter-rotating rigid rotors for lift and a tail-mounted propeller for additional thrust, allowing it to fly at speeds of up to 250 miles per hour (220 knots) and hover at extreme altitudes.

The walk-around was guided by the Raider's chief test pilot Bill Fell, a former Army Kiowa scout pilot who has flown the aircraft for both of the test flights thus far. The Raider first flew in May of this year and again in September after reconfigurations based on the engineering data collected in the first flight.

The Raider is based on the research done with Sikorsky's X2 technology demonstrator, which in 2010 (unofficially) broke the speed record for rotary-wing aircraft by flying at 250 knots (287 miles per hour). It is also in many ways a development platform for the SB-1 Defiant, Sikorsky's joint proposal with Boeing for the Army's Future Vertical Lift program. But with the Army having retired its Kiowa scout helicopters, Sikorsky is hoping that the Raider will fill a hole in the Army's aviation capabilities that can't currently be filled by unmanned aircraft. "You need to have a human in the loop assessing the situation" on scout missions, Fell said.

The rigid rotors of the Raider give it a compact footprint compared to other helicopters of its size—while it fills up the same space as the two-seater Kiowa, the Raider has space for six troops in a passenger compartment. And when in level flight, the Raider flies more like a commercial jet than a helicopter—the collective control locks in at its most efficient position, and the pilot flies the helicopter exclusively with the cyclic stick. A control on the stick allows the pilot to control the pitch of the rear propeller to control speed in level flight—or to fly the aircraft backward with negative pitch. And the combination of rigid rotors and rear thrust makes the Raider much more nimble than other helicopters; the Raider is designed to withstand sustained forces of up to three times the earth's gravity in maneuvering.

Much work needs to be done still on the Raider—so far, the aircraft has only flown for a little over two hours, and there have only been about 40 hours of ground tests. But much of the up-front design work and testing for the Raider was done in a simulation environment, so Sikorsky's Vice President of Engineering, Mark Miller, said he believes that the company can press development forward at a "sporty" rate. By next year, the Raider's test flights will begin to push its performance envelope.
 

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Triton

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Published on Oct 8, 2015

The GE YT706 powered Sikorsky RAIDER is designed to revolutionize next generation military aviation. Learn more at http://raider.sikorsky.com/

https://youtu.be/KiRbPyPH3zE

Too bad that the video is of the mock-up and not prototype 2. :(
 

Triton

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"Sikorsky S-97 Raider reaching for top speeds by 'summer 2016'”
13 October, 2015 BY: James Drew Washington DC

Source:
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/sikorsky-s-97-raider-reaching-for-top-speeds-by-sum-417704/

Sikorsky will conduct a significant amount of ground testing on its S-97 Raider before returning to flight trials, with just 2.2h of a 110h flight test programme clocked since the maiden flight in May.

S-97 chief test pilot Bill Fell says more testing will be done with ground-test rid at Sikorsky’s plant in West Palm Beach, Florida, to build “confidence” in the aircraft’s components ahead of further flights.

Speaking at an Association of the United States Army (AUSA) conference in Washington, Fell says the ground-test rig has already logged 40h of what is expected to be a 200h test run.

By 200h, Fell says the programme will have the “green light” to begin flying an expanded flight envelope. Sikorsky expects to reach top speeds of 220-230kt by next summer (June to August).

Mark Miller, Sikorsky’s vice-president of research and engineering, says the 110-120h flight programme is “robust,” considering the S-97’s forerunner, the X2, flew 23 flights for 23h.

The company has built two S-97 experimental demonstrators as risk-reduction leading into the US Army’s upcoming Future Vertical Lift (FVL) acquisition, and the coaxial-compound, rigid-rotor configuration is the basis for the Boeing-Sikorsky SB-1 Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator.

Miller says Raider has a slightly smaller footprint than the now-retired Bell OH-58 Kiowa Warrior armed aerial scout, and could be put into development for that “FVL Light” requirement.

The fly-by-wire rotorcraft could also be made “optionally unmanned” using Sikorsky’s Matrix autonomous flight technology, which has been demonstrated on the Sikorsky S-76 technology demonstrator aircraft and UH-60 Black Hawk, he says.

“We have provisions for going an optionally-piloted route with this,” says Miller.

Fell, however, says most missions would require a “human in the loop,” particularly the aerial scout role for establishing situational awareness.

The army’s retirement of the Kiowa Warrior was based on the teaming of unmanned surveillance aircraft with the Boeing AH-64 Apache combat helicopter. Some, though, believe that role is better suited to a manned, light-armed helicopter such as the Raider.

“I don’t think you can do that mission fully with an unmanned vehicle,” says Fell, who previously served as a Kiowa Warrior pilot.
 

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bobbymike

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Military.com video

http://www.military.com/video/aircraft/helicopters/sikorsky-s-97-raider-at-ausa/4556052749001/
 

Triton

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American Helicopter Society (AHS) International added 13 new photos to the album: Sikorsky S-97 Raider #2 Walkaround — at Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

2nd prototype of the Sikorsky S-97 Raider was on display to the public for the first time at the AUSA annual expo. This aircraft is expected to fly in 2016.

Source:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153737336425528.1073741872.80119815527&type=3
 

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Triton

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American Helicopter Society (AHS) International added 13 new photos to the album: Sikorsky S-97 Raider #2 Walkaround — at Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

2nd prototype of the Sikorsky S-97 Raider was on display to the public for the first time at the AUSA annual expo. This aircraft is expected to fly in 2016.

Source:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153737336425528.1073741872.80119815527&type=3
 

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bobbymike

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Triton said:
http://www.military.com:80/video/aircraft/helicopters/sikorsky-s-97-raider-at-ausa/4556052749001/
Just posted this #203 ;D
 

TomS

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Triton said:
Infographic from AUSA 2015 posted on Facebook.

Can anyone figure out what the triple weapon launcher hinted at on the infographic might be? (left side, just above the six troops) There aren't a lot of weapons carried as triples these days.
 

yasotay

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TomS said:
Triton said:
Infographic from AUSA 2015 posted on Facebook.

Can anyone figure out what the triple weapon launcher hinted at on the infographic might be? (left side, just above the six troops) There aren't a lot of weapons carried as triples these days.
Yet to be designed missile with range and accuracy of Hellfire but smaller and lighter for more stowed kills. Bigger than APKWS.
 

Triton

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"Sikorsky’s Raider Should Raise Helicopter Performance"
Jun 15, 2015 Graham Warwick | ShowNews

Source:
http://aviationweek.com/paris-air-show-2015/sikorsky-s-raider-should-raise-helicopter-performance

Sikorsky’s “big bet” on the future of rotorcraft took an important step forward on May 22, when the S-97 Raider high-speed helicopter made its first flight.

With its rigid coaxial rotors and pusher propulsor, Sikorsky believes the Raider and subsequent designs can change the vertical-lift market by offering twice the cruise speed while retaining the low-speed attributes of conventional helicopters. Improved hot-and-high performance, efficiency and maneuverability, and lower noise, vibration and pilot workload will also be benefits.

The aircraft flown on May 22 is the first of two prototypes being built under a $200 million industry effort funded by Sikorsky and its supplier partners. This follows on from the $50 million company-funded X2 Technology Demonstrator, which flew 23 times from 2008-11 and exceeded its speed goal of 250 kt.

On its first flight at Sikorsky’s development flight center in West Palm Beach, the Raider was airborne for an hour, instead of the planned 30 minutes, says Mark Miller, VP of research and engineering. Raider chief pilot Bill Fell and X2 test pilot Kevin Bredenbeck completed three takeoffs and landings, and forward, rearward and sideward flight.

Where the 6,000-lb. gross-weight X2 proved the physics of the rigid coaxial-rotor compound helicopter, Miller says, the production-representative, 11,400-lb. Raiders are intended to show its operational effectiveness through customer demonstrations. They will also reduce risk for the 30,000-lb. SB-1 Defiant Sikorsky is building with Boeing for the U.S. Army’s Joint Multi Role technology demonstration.

Over some 100 hours of flight testing, Aircraft 1 will expand the Raider’s flight envelope with the goal of achieving the program’s key performance parameters (KPP) by mid-2016, says Miller. These include demonstrating hover out of ground effect at mission weight at 6,000 ft. altitude on a 95F day; 220 kt. cruise speed with external weapons; and 3G maneuverability at speed.

Flight testing will be conducted in three phases. Initially the Raider will be flown to 140-150 kt. in pure helicopter mode. Towards the end of Phase 1, software will be upgraded to Block 2, bringing in the variable-pitch propulsor and articulating tail to increase speed and enable the full flight envelope. Phases 1 and 2 will demonstrate the hover KPP carrying the equivalent of six troops and two crew. Phase 2 will focus on demonstrating – and likely exceeding - the speed objective when fitted with stub wings carrying weapons. “Raider is a balanced design optimized for more than 220 kt. fully weaponized, but the inherent speed of the configuration is more than 250 kt.,” says Miller. “That’s 100 kt. faster than anything else.”

Phase 3 will evaluate the maneuverability potential of the rigid coaxial rotor and propulsor. In addition to enabling level-attitude acceleration and deceleration and pushing the helicopter to higher forward speeds, the variable-pitch propeller can be used to produce reverse thrust, enabling the Raider to “hang on the prop” to point sensors and weapons toward the ground.

The second Raider is being assembled and is expected to fly late this year or early in 2016.
 

Triton

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"Sikorsky Pushes Ahead On Autonomy With Lockheed Backing"
Feb 15, 2016 Graham Warwick | Aviation Week & Space Technology

Source:
http://aviationweek.com/defense/sikorsky-pushes-ahead-autonomy-lockheed-backing

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Sundog

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Have there been any updates regarding flight testing or is it grounded? We haven't heard crap since LockMart took over Sikorsky.
 

sublight is back

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Sundog said:
Have there been any updates regarding flight testing or is it grounded? We haven't heard crap since LockMart took over Sikorsky.
That was my concern as well.
 

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There were transmission and prop issues discovered that needed to be fixed before flights could continue. I am told they will resume shortly. I don't know the technical details.
 

yasotay

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CammNut said:
There were transmission and prop issues discovered that needed to be fixed before flights could continue. I am told they will resume shortly. I don't know the technical details.
History repeats itself. XH-59. I'm sure they will resolve the issue, but concerned about weight growth.
 

sferrin

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yasotay said:
CammNut said:
There were transmission and prop issues discovered that needed to be fixed before flights could continue. I am told they will resume shortly. I don't know the technical details.
History repeats itself. XH-59. I'm sure they will resolve the issue, but concerned about weight growth.
One could insert almost any aircraft in there.
 

Moose

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Prop and transmission issues with new-development rotorcraft are not exactly uncommon.
 

yasotay

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Agreed. Given the findings with XH-59, I imagine they were anticipating these issues.
 

sferrin

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Moose said:
Prop and transmission issues with new-development rotorcraft are not exactly uncommon.
See CH-53K for example.
 

Moose

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Looks even better than the Dolphin in that scheme.
 

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"Jun 15, 2015: ...Over some 100 hours of flight testing, Aircraft 1 will expand the Raider’s flight envelope with the goal of achieving the program’s key performance parameters (KPP) by mid-2016, says Miller..."

...any news? What about Ac2?

BR Michael
 

yasotay

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VTOLicious said:
"Jun 15, 2015: ...Over some 100 hours of flight testing, Aircraft 1 will expand the Raider’s flight envelope with the goal of achieving the program’s key performance parameters (KPP) by mid-2016, says Miller..."

...any news? What about Ac2?

BR Michael
Think ACFT 2 is currently on the show circuit.
 

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Here is a Factory Model of the Raider. Interesting is that the model was 3D printed (the fuselage was in 3 sections) by Sikorsky and sent as parts to my friends model shop. Surfaces were like shark skin and very bit mappy in texture. Took a LOT of filling to get it smooth. One trouble area was the window and door recessed lines that were very difficult to finish. Nice big size, around 22 inches long and very light as the 3D print is not solid but hollow with internal structural components. Feels weird to pick up expecting a heavy weight because of the physical size. They have made 3 so far and I hope they do a mold with conventional resins to get a model that is a bit heavier.... and I can add one to my collection.
 

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yasotay

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I WANT THIS ONE EVEN MORE!
 

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AUSA 2016: Future attack helo lighter, more lethal
https://www.shephardmedia.com/news/rotorhub/ausa-2016-future-attack-helo-lighter-more-lethal/

"...Speaking to Shephard at the AUSA exhibition, FVL project manager Richard Kretzschmar said rather than rolling out an Apache replacement as part of CS3, the programme team was investigating a smaller ‘Capability Set 1.5’ aircraft for the attack role. ‘If you look at an aircraft like the [Sikorsky S-97] Raider that’s here at the show, we are looking at that class of aircraft with the way the requirement is evolving. With the munitions that will be available, the aircraft could be lighter but much more lethal than the Apache,’ Kretzschmar explained..."

...interesting!
 

yasotay

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VTOLicious said:
AUSA 2016: Future attack helo lighter, more lethal
https://www.shephardmedia.com/news/rotorhub/ausa-2016-future-attack-helo-lighter-more-lethal/

"...Speaking to Shephard at the AUSA exhibition, FVL project manager Richard Kretzschmar said rather than rolling out an Apache replacement as part of CS3, the programme team was investigating a smaller ‘Capability Set 1.5’ aircraft for the attack role. ‘If you look at an aircraft like the [Sikorsky S-97] Raider that’s here at the show, we are looking at that class of aircraft with the way the requirement is evolving. With the munitions that will be available, the aircraft could be lighter but much more lethal than the Apache,’ Kretzschmar explained..."

...interesting!
Oh fudge. Let the protest lawyers begin sharpening their knives. One has to wonder if the Army does this on purpose given the frequency of their preferred solution responses.
 

sferrin

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Did they do protests back in the 50s and 60s time frame too or is this just lawyers discovering a new revenue stream (and the .gov letting them)?
 

TomS

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sferrin said:
Did they do protests back in the 50s and 60s time frame too or is this just lawyers discovering a new revenue stream (and the .gov letting them)?
The current protest mechanisms didn't exist in that era. There really wasn't any way for bidders to effectively protest awards between 1940 and the 1970s. GAO didn't get clear legal authority over contract protests until the 1980s.
 

Moose

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Lots of differences with how DoD contracts worked back then, and how complex systems like aircraft were developed.
 

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sferrin said:
Did they do protests back in the 50s and 60s time frame too or is this just lawyers discovering a new revenue stream (and the .gov letting them)?
Bid protests of a sort start in the mid-60s for GAO.
 

F-14D

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marauder2048 said:
sferrin said:
Did they do protests back in the 50s and 60s time frame too or is this just lawyers discovering a new revenue stream (and the .gov letting them)?
Bid protests of a sort start in the mid-60s for GAO.
Back in the 50s, 60s, 70s and part of the 80s ther was still plenty of business to go around. You had to weigh the risk of winning a protest against pissing the customer off to the extent that you could be unofficially blackballed in your bids for other projects coming up in the foreseeable future. Since then, the projects are fewer and far between and the industry has shrunk so much that it becomes much more justifiable in a business sense to fight for the current one rather than gamble on staying in good graces for a project 20 years down the road.
 

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VTOLicious said:
"Jun 15, 2015: ...Over some 100 hours of flight testing, Aircraft 1 will expand the Raider’s flight envelope with the goal of achieving the program’s key performance parameters (KPP) by mid-2016, says Miller..."

...any news? What about Ac2?

BR Michael
This question about news raises an excellent point: are there problems in the technology that haven't yet been made public, or is the technology much more complicated than was originally thought?

The X2 demonstrator took far longer to get in the air than Sikorsky's numerous predictions. It flew 23 flights with a total airtime of roughly 22 hours. The total time in the program spent at the speed it was designed to demonstrate was, I believe, less than 20 minutes.

Now we're looking at the Raider. It also kept slipping the flight date (a year or more?) from Sikorsky's multiple predictions. It eventually took to the air in May of 2015, and as far as I can tell only made one more flight in 2015, with total 2015 airtime of a bit over 2 hours. It's significant to note that both the Sikorsky and Lockheed S-97 sites still list the first flight 17 months ago as the primary achievement.

Seruriermarshal's post shows what I hope is a flight in 2016 (how many have there been all told?). Clearly though, the S-97 is not going to demonstrate anything near its KPPs by, "mid-2016", a prediction that was still standing in Oct of 2015 but since then has seemed to fade away. AC #2 is was supposed to be a demonstrator for potential customers, flying in areas that would expand as #1 opened up the envelope but presently is just performing the role of a mock-up.

It's possible that Sikorsky feels that when AAS was canceled, the market for anyone to fund full development of an operational vehicle dried up and they want to concentrate their resources on SB-1, costs of which are shared with Boeing. Or given the history of the XH-59 and X-2, maybe there are more issues with ABC/X2 technology that haven't been made public?
 

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Raider air vehicle 1 had made nine flights by the time of the International Powered Lift Conference on Sep 27-29. The flights have been interspersed with hardware modifications and flight-control software updates, Guy Norris reports in Aviation Week. I know it was down a while because of gearbox input drive and propulsor blade retention issues that needed fixes. Work on air vehicle 2 has been halted to focus on the first aircraft, Guy says.
 

F-14D

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CammNut said:
Raider air vehicle 1 had made nine flights by the time of the International Powered Lift Conference on Sep 27-29. The flights have been interspersed with hardware modifications and flight-control software updates, Guy Norris reports in Aviation Week. I know it was down a while because of gearbox input drive and propulsor blade retention issues that needed fixes. Work on air vehicle 2 has been halted to focus on the first aircraft, Guy says.
Thanks for the update. I don't have an AWIN subscription so couldn't read all of his report. Still, though, it's moving pretty slow and the near total lack of news or publicity coming out of the program seems to indicate that its importance within the company has diminished. maybe they're now just looking at it as a confidence builder in potential evaluators' eyes for X2 technology in JMR/FVL..."See, the SB-1 isn't that unique, there's another X2 flying".
 
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