PPG Industries’ (NYSE:PPG) aerospace transparencies group produced the transparencies for the S-97 RAIDER™ rotorcraft prototype rolled out by Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.
The 14-square-foot windshields are polycarbonate laminates for high impact strength and light weight with proprietary protective coatings to extend service life, according to Brent Wright, PPG global platform director for aerospace transparencies.
“Sikorsky wanted windshields that will afford pilots maximum visibility, which is critical during flight operations of the S-97 RAIDER helicopter because of its speed and performance capabilities,” Wright said. “PPG wanted that visibility maintained as long as possible, so we designed a new coatings system for improved haze and scratch resistance.”
Using polycarbonate enabled PPG to provide the optimum balance between high strength and light weight for the windshields, he said. The windshields have passed testing to resist impact of a 2.2-pound bird at the demanding high speeds of the RAIDER™ aircraft.
PPG also designed acrylic cockpit and cabin-door windows and stretched-acrylic lower observation windows for strength and light weight.
PPG is designing and manufacturing the transparencies at its Sylmar, California, facility, and has delivered ship sets to Sikorsky for two S-97 RAIDER helicopter prototypes.
Sikorsky provided 75 percent of the investment for the program, and PPG Aerospace is among 53 U.S. companies participating as principal suppliers that are collectively providing the remainder. First flight of the S-97 RAIDER helicopter is expected this year.
PPG has produced heated glass windshields for the BLACK HAWK and S-76® helicopters and their variants since Sikorsky started the programs in the 1970s, and it also supplies transparencies for the S-92® and CH-53 helicopters by Sikorsky, according to Wright.
A light tactical helicopter weighing 11,400 pounds, the single-engine S-97 RAIDER aircraft by Sikorsky features the X2® rotorcraft design, which uses coaxial counter-rotating main rotors and a pusher propeller to provide improvements in maneuverability, hover efficiency, high/hot climate performance and speed.
PPG Aerospace is the aerospace products and services business of PPG Industries. PPG Aerospace – Transparencies is the world’s largest supplier of aircraft windshields, windows and canopies. PPG Aerospace – PRC-DeSoto is the leading global producer and distributor of aerospace coatings, sealants, and packaging and application systems. For more information, visit www.ppgaerospace.com.
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PPG Industries’ vision is to be the world’s leading coatings company by consistently delivering high-quality, innovative and sustainable solutions that customers trust to protect and beautify their products and surroundings. Through leadership in innovation, sustainability and color, PPG provides added value to customers in construction, consumer products, industrial and transportation markets and aftermarkets to enhance more surfaces in more ways than does any other company. Founded in 1883, PPG has global headquarters in Pittsburgh and operates in nearly 70 countries around the world. Reported net sales in 2014 were $15.4 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol:PPG). For more information, visit www.ppg.com and follow @PPGIndustries on Twitter.
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