Sikorsky Aircraft, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) has selected Hexcel as a member of a newly-formed team that is building a next-generation helicopter â€“ designated the S-97 RAIDERâ„¢ helicopter â€“ for evaluation by the U.S. military. Hexcelâ€™s HexPlyÂ® prepregs and HexWebÂ® honeycomb core composite technologies will provide high strength and light weight properties to the aircraftâ€™s structure and blades.
Hexcel is among 35 companies nationwide announced as preferred suppliers by Sikorsky, January 12, during the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Aviation symposium at National Harbor, Md., near Washington, DC.
â€œSikorsky selected Hexcelâ€™s advanced technologies, products and services because they are proven and mature,â€ said Mike Canario, Hexcel VP and General Manager for the Americas. â€œWe are committed to engineering excellence in both military and commercial aerospace applications by providing our partners, like Sikorsky, products with superior toughness and strength without the added weight of alternative materials.â€
Sikorsky and its team suppliers are self-funding the design and manufacture of two S-97 RAIDER prototype aircraft for flight evaluation by the U.S. military. The program is currently in the advanced design stage. Sikorsky expects to achieve first flight in 2014.
The RAIDER aircraft program follows Sikorskyâ€™s successful X2 TECHNOLOGYâ„¢ demonstrator aircraft, which in September 2010 achieved more than 250 knots flight speed, or twice the average cruise speed of a conventional helicopter. As an X2 aircraft design, the S-97 RAIDER helicopter will feature coaxial counter-rotating main rotors and a pusher propeller to provide dramatic improvements in maneuverability, hover efficiency, high/hot climate performance, and speed.
The X2â„¢ design is scalable, opening up a variety of potential mission uses including combat search and rescue, armed aerial scout, medical evacuation, attack, special operations, VIP and offshore oil transport. Defined as a light tactical helicopter, the single-engine RAIDER aircraft will weigh in at 11,000-lbs maximum gross weight.
For more information about the S-97 RAIDER program, please visit www.sikorsky.com.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX), is based in Stratford, Conn., and is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture, and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.
Hexcel Corporation is a leading advanced composites company. It develops, manufactures and markets lightweight, high-performance structural materials, including carbon fibers, reinforcements for composites, prepregs, honeycomb, matrix systems, adhesives and composite structures, used in commercial aerospace, space and defense and industrial applications.
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