Sikorsky Aircraft has announced the first switching on of electronic systems on its S-97 Raider prototype helicopter, offered for the US Army's Armed Aerial Scout (AAS) programme, at its Development Flight Center in Florida, US.
The powering on signals successful installation of the avionics system and a represents a significant step toward completing the assembly of the first of the two light tactical rotorcraft featuring X2 Technology.
The process was supported by Sikorsky Avionics Product Center, Esterline-Korry, Esterline-Mason, United Technologies Aerospace Systems, Lockheed Martin, Garmin, Avionics Instruments, BAE, Honeywell, Pacific Scientific, Northrop Grumman, Meggitt, and LMS.
It confirms that the cockpit multifunction displays and control display unit (CDU) and CDU controlled electronic circuit breakers are now operational.
Sikorsky Aircraft research and engineering vice-president Mark Miller said: "We are making great progress, and in the meantime are keeping our interested customers keenly aware of the exceptional performance that this aircraft will bring. We are really looking forward to showing its value to the US military."
Currently about halfway through the assembly process, the helicopter is scheduled to undergo electrical power and avionics acceptance test procedures (ATPs) over the next several weeks, to complete the checkout of the remaining avionics, electrical, and flight control systems.
Several key components are in production and are scheduled to be installed in the next few months following the helicopter's planned first test flight by the end of this year.
Sikorsky intends to demonstrate the helicopter's capabilities to the US military in 2015.
Featuring counter-rotating rigid main rotor blades for lift and forward flight, as well as a pusher propeller for high-speed acceleration and deceleration, the fly-by-wire controlled S-97 Raider is configured to Sikorsky's X2 coaxial design, which successfully achieved 250k flight speed, while demonstrating low pilot workload and low acoustic signature in 2010.
Image: Sikorsky has turned on electrical power to the S-97 Raider prototype helicopter at its Development Flight Center in Florida, US. Photo: © 2014 Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.