American aircraft manufacturer Sikorsky has released new flight footage of its Raider X twin coaxial rotor, pusher propeller helicopter.
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The Lockheed Martin company is developing the compound helicopter for the US Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft program.
The Raider X flies farther and faster than conventional aircraft, manoeuvres with agility at low altitudes and is resistant to extremely hot conditions, according to a company announcement made on 25 April.
Using a digital Modular Open Systems Approach, it is also able to act in a “quarterback” role to manage communications, sensors, and shooting assets.
Sikorsky S-97 RAIDER lead test pilot Christiaan Corry said the machine is capable of low altitude flight, hovering, and 70-plus degree angles-of-bank, which are critical for operation in contested environments.
“In battle, you want to live outside the threat ring. Getting in close and mitigating threats requires a combination of speed and the ability to capitalise on the environment,” he said.
“The safest sanctuary for helicopters is low and if you can fly low and fast, it’s especially difficult for radar to detect you. That’s what Raider X brings to battle.”
Sikorsky has designed, built, and flown four prototype aircraft including the S-97 Raider technology demonstrator which first flew in 2015. That aircraft reached speeds of 207 knots in straight and level flight, while Sikorsky’s X2 TECHNOLOGY Demonstrator aircraft has exceeded flight speeds of 250 knots.