Lockheed Martin S-97 Raider Prototype Crash Lands in Palm Beach County

An S-97 Raider helicopter made a hard landing at the Sikorsky Development Flight Center in Palm Beach County on Wednesday morning.

The helicopter was hovering during a test flight when the hard landing happened, WPTV reported citing a spokesperson for Lockheed Martin. Two people were on board and neither was injured, Lockheed Martin said.

Engineering teams at Sikorsky are investigating to determine what may have caused the hard landing.

The aircraft is a next-generation light tactical prototype helicopter capable of carrying six troops and external weapons and is capable of flying at 10,000 feet.

About Sikorsky S-97 Raider:

Sikorsky S-97 Raider is a proposed high-speed scout and attack compound helicopter based on the Advancing Blade Concept (ABC), under development by Sikorsky Aircraft. It is developed from Sikorsky X2 technology demonstrator.

Sikorsky planned to offer it for the United States Army’s Armed Aerial Scout program to replace Bell OH-58 Kiowa Warrior observation helicopter, along with other possible uses.

The prototype S-97s is powered by a General Electric YT706 turboshaft engine developing 2,600 shp (1,900 kW) thrust. It will be capable of carrying up to six passengers, in addition to a flight crew of two in a side-by-side cockpit.

The S-97 design includes variable speed rigid coaxial main rotors and a variable-pitch pusher propeller, making the S-97 a compound helicopter. Like the X2, it has fly-by-wire control and dynamic anti-vibration actuators to cancel out shaking.

The main rotors have hingeless hubs and stiff blades, to improve low-speed handling and efficiency of hover. At high speeds, the close spacing of the hubs reduces drag.

Compared to the OH-58D Kiowa it is replacing, the S-97 has significantly increased performance goals, such as cruising speeds upwards of 200 knots while carrying weapons, turning at three times the force of gravity at 220kt, and a high hover efficiency (Figure of merit).

The S-97 made its maiden flight on 22 May 2015.

%d bloggers like this: