Rotating Composite Technologies (RCT) will participate as a member of Sikorsky Aircraft Corporationâ€™s S-97 RAIDERâ„¢ helicopter supplier team that is building a next-generation helicopter for evaluation by the U.S. military. RCTâ€™s patented advanced technology composite propeller will add significantly to the aircraftâ€™s propulsion system.
RCT 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€œWe are extremely proud that Sikorsky has selected RCT to join its S-97 RAIDERâ„¢ program,â€ said RCT President John Violette. â€œWe recognized that this next generation aircraft represents a significant advance in the evolution of helicopter technology. RCTâ€™s pusher propeller will feature a very high propeller thrust to weight ratio that will give the RAIDERâ„¢ helicopter the capability to fly significantly faster than conventional helicopters.â€
The RAIDERâ„¢ 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. The demonstrator aircraft used RCTâ€™s pusher propeller. The National Aeronautic Association awarded Sikorsky the 2010 Robert J. Collier Trophy for the achievement, and for its potential as a future rotorcraft technology.
As in the X2 rotorcraft design, the S-97 RAIDERâ„¢ helicopter will feature coaxial counter-rotating main rotors and other advanced technology subsystems including RCTâ€™s pusher propeller that will provide dramatic improvements in helicopter maneuverability, hover efficiency, high/ hot climate performance, and speed.
The RAIDERâ„¢ program has two principal objectives; to mature the X2TM rotorcraft design with additional airframe and flight characteristics; and to offer the aircraft as a replacement candidate for the U.S. Armyâ€™s Armed Aerial Scout helicopter competition.
Defined as a light tactical helicopter, the single-engine RAIDERâ„¢ aircraft will weigh in at 11,000-lbs maximum gross weight.
Sikorsky and its team suppliers are self-funding the design and manufacture of two S-97 RAIDERâ„¢ prototype aircraft for flight evaluation by the U.S. military. The program is currently in the advanced design stage. Sikorsky expects first flight in 2014.
The X2 rotorcraft 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.
For more information about the S-97 RAIDERâ„¢ program, please visit www.sikorsky.com. Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX), is based in Stratford, Conn., and is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture, and service. United Technologies Corporation, based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.
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