Last year Sikorsky’s S-97 Raider prototype helicopter was unveiled to the world. The very same has carried out its maiden flight. The helicopter’s design was based on X2 Technology Demonstrator. The S-97 Raider sports coaxial counter-rotating main rotors along with a pusher propeller. It has been designed to be used as a multi-mission aircraft that will be replacing US Army’s OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter and the Special Forces’ MH-6 Little Bird.
Sikorsky hopes that it will be able to cruise at speeds of about 240 knots, however, the S-97 Raider’s maiden flight was more about an array of maneuvers to test out the hover and low-speed capabilities. It was flown by pilot Bill Fell and co-pilot Kevin Bredenbeck at the controls. The flight lasted for an hour at the Sikorsky’s Development Flight Center (DFC) in Florida.
Now that it has successfully completed its first flight; the S-97 Raider prototype shall be moving onto enhanced flight testing that are designed to test and gauge its capabilities concerning a number of potential combat missions, armed reconnaissance, light attack, special operations and light assault.
A demonstration tour is already planned for the S-97 Raider in 2016 by Sikorsky and a second prototype is already being built that is scheduled for completion by the end of this year.