Sikorsky resumes flight tests with S-97 Raider

The second Sikorsky S-97 Raider prototype has completed its first flight, marking the program’s return to flight testing following the first prototype’s hard landing in August 2017.

Sikorsky is using the Raider program to further mature technology developed in its X2 demonstrator — most notably its rigid coaxial main rotors and a variable-pitch pusher propeller (which enhance both the aircraft’s speed and its maneuverability) — for a possible Future Vertical Lift light application for the U.S. military.

The Raider is also serving as a “risk reducer” for the SB-1 Defiant — the larger high-speed rigid rotor coaxial rotorcraft Sikorsky is developing with Boeing for the U.S. Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator program, in which it is competing against the Bell V-280 Valor.

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