WASHINGTON, (BM) – The Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky company once again surprised the world by presenting its vision for the development of the Sikorsky S-97 Raider, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
The helicopter received the designation Raider-X. Like its predecessor, the new helicopter has a coaxial vinyl carrier and one pusher propeller at the rear. A promising vehicle will be able to reach speeds of approximately 380 kilometers per hour using the General Electric T901 engine.
The helicopter has a fairly wide cockpit with the location of the crew members side by side. Immediately behind the cabin is a compartment in which weapons and people can be placed. Overall, being very similar to the S-97 Raider, the Raider-X will be approximately 30% larger than its predecessor.
Recall that the first flight in 2015, the Sikorsky S-97 Raider was positioned as a prototype reconnaissance helicopter, which in the future could go into the service of the US Army. The cockpit of the Sikorsky S-97 Raider accommodates two pilots with their location side by side. The fuselage was made of composite materials: this allows to reduce the weight of the machine and reduce its radar visibility.
S-97 was created on the basis of the experimental helicopter X2, which made its first flight in 2008 and was built in a single copy. This project was closed in 2011, but the experience gained during the testing of the machine, as shown by practice, was useful and in demand.
The Raider-X helicopter is presented as part of the FARA (Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft) contest, designed to find a replacement for the already decommissioned Bell OH-58 Kiowa light multipurpose helicopter. The FARA competition is part of the larger-scale efforts of the American army aimed at creating a line of fundamentally new helicopters, which, in particular, would be distinguished by higher speed performance.
Earlier, as part of the proposal for the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft, Bell Helicopter showed the appearance of a promising high-speed reconnaissance and attack helicopter Bell 360 Invictus. The concept is based on technical solutions previously tested on the Bell 525 Relentless helicopter, which is designed for the civil aviation market.
Another member of FARA was the duo of L3 Technologies and AVX Aircraft Company, which previously presented the concept of a helicopter with a coaxial rotor and two propellers on the sides of the machine. Such a trip can provide the helicopter with the highest (by the standards of rotorcraft) speed.
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