Lockheed Martin company Sikorsky has introduced Raider X, its coaxial helicopter concept for the U.S. Army's future attack reconnaissance aircraft (FARA) prototype competition.
Sikorsky’s nationwide supply team introduced Raider X during the annual conference of the Association of the United States Army in Washington, D.C.
Developed from the X2 rigid-rotor-plus-pusher-engine helicopter test vehicle funded by investments by Sikorsky, Lockheed Martin, and industry partners., Raider X would use the latest digital design and manufacturing techniques.
"Raider X converges everything we've learned in years of developing, testing, and refining X2 Technology," said Frank St. John, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems.
The X2 combines the best elements of low-speed helicopter performance with the cruise performance of an airplane, according to Sikorsky experimental test pilot Bill Fell, a retired Army pilot who has flown nearly every Raider test flight. "Every flight we take in our S-97 Raider today reduces risk and optimizes our FARA prototype, Raider X."
To date, X2 aircraft have achieved/demonstrated:
• Speeds in excess of 250kts
• Operations above 9,000ft
• Low-speed and high-speed maneuver envelopes to more than 60° bank angle
• Aeronautical Design Standard Level 1 (ADS-33B) handling qualities with multiple pilots
• Flight controls optimization, vibration mitigation
"Raider X is the culmination of decades of development, and a testament to our innovation and passion for solving our customers' needs," said Sikorsky President Dan Schultz.
The Raider X prototype offers:
• Performance: The X2 rigid rotor provides responsive maneuverability, enhanced low-speed hover, off-axis hover, and level acceleration and braking
• Agile, digital design: State-of-the-art digital design and manufacturing is already in use on other Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky production programs such as CH-53K, CH-148, and F-35, and will lower the acquisition cost and enable rapid, affordable upgrades
• Adaptability: Modern open systems architecture (MOSA)-based avionics and mission systems offer plug-and-play options for computing, sensors, survivability, and weapons
• Sustainable maintenance: Lower operating costs by using new technologies to shift from routine maintenance and inspections to self-monitoring and condition-based maintenance
• Growth/mission flexibility: X2 compound coaxial technology provides growth margin for increased speed, combat radius, and payload. This potential enables operational mission flexibility from a range of aircraft configurations and loads to accommodate mission requirements