MANASSAS, VA Aurora Flight Sciences announced that it has been selected by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation to design and build prototype airframes as part of the S-97 RAIDER™ program.
Aurora’s design and manufacturing role will take place over the next several years. Applying Sikorsky structural design methodologies, Aurora engineers will design the airframe to meet challenging weight, strength, and stiffness criteria. The airframe will be manufactured and assembled at Aurora’s Columbus, Mississippi facility.
“We are pleased to join Sikorsky’s team to develop the S-97 RAIDER prototype,” said John Langford, Aurora’s President and CEO. “Our demonstrated success in rapid prototyping and our experience in transitioning prototype programs into production were key factors in Sikorsky’s decision to select Aurora for this high priority development program.”
The S-97 RAIDER program is based on Sikorsky Aircraft’s development of the next-generation X2 Technology™ rotary wing demonstrator aircraft, which features twin coaxial counter-rotating main rotors and a pusher propeller. The National Aeronautic Association recently selected the Sikorsky Aircraft’s X2 Demonstrator Team as the recipient of the 2010 Collier Trophy. In addition to flying at nearly twice the speed of a conventional helicopter, the S-97 RAIDER prototype aircraft will incorporate other key performance parameters critical to combat operations — increased maneuverability, greater endurance, reduced acoustic noise signature, and the ability to operate at high altitudes.