What potentially could be Army’s helicopter of the future flies over Redstone Arsenal
By LEE ROOP | al.com | Published: April 15, 2021
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Tribune News Service) — The sleek, twin-rotor helicopter hovering at steep angles and zooming at 200 mph over the
After long, grueling wars in the Mideast that pushed its current helicopters to the max and beyond, the Army is on a mission to upgrade to new helicopters with the latest innovations in technology and electronics. It’s the Army’s third-highest priority for the future, and Redstone is the headquarters of the
Sikorsky is one of two finalists to deliver the new Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft, as it’s called, and it brought a prototype of its S-97 RAIDER to Redstone today for a demonstration. Including an earlier demonstration flight Wednesday at the field, it was only the second time the helicopter has flown away from Sikorsky’s factory and test areas in
And what was the Redstone reaction? Put it this way: When a bleacher full of officers got a chance to get up close to the helicopter after the flight, no one hung back.
The first thing the eye notices about the S-97 is its twin, coaxial overhead rotors. Twirling in opposite directions, they prevent the spinning that made earlier helicopters need a stabilizing vertical rotor on the tail. Now, the rear of the RAIDER is occupied by a rear-facing “pusher” propeller. That means extra speed — the test pilot’s favorite innovation — and the ability to slow the craft by reversing the propeller to keep it focused on a target longer.
“We have over 500 hours with these aircraft,” Sikorsky President
Sikorsky Helicopter brought its S-97 RAIDER helicopter to the Army's Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., for a demonstration flight on Thursday, April 15, 2021. The company and partner Boeing are competing to provide the Army's next-generation helicopter, and Redstone is overseeing the competition.
LEE ROOP, AL.COM/TNS