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Sikorsky S-97 Raider helicopter flying nicely

Staff writer |
United Technologies Corporation's Sikorsky had conducted a successful test flight of its new S-97 Raider helicopter at its Development Flight Centre.

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The S-97 helicopter is a coaxial rotor prototype which offers increased hover ability, speed, range, maneuverability and endurance.

The S-97 helicopter flew for one hour in its first test flight, in which it tested the initial maneuvering at low speed and altitude. After the successful initial test flight, the company will be conducting advanced test flights in which the S-97, being a military helicopter, will be tested in critical parameters.

The second testing would include light assault, armed reconnaissance, special operations and light attack.

The unique design of the S-97 coaxial helicopter will allow it to be used in multiple configurations. It will have the ability to carry six troops along with external weapons at a cruise speed of approximately 240 knots, with the help of its pusher propeller.

The second S-97 prototype helicopter is under development and is expected to be built by the end of fiscal ’15, with a demonstration tour scheduled in fiscal ’16. The new S-97 model is expected tp add value to Sikorsky's existing helicopter portfolio.

Despite Sikorsky's advancement in new technology and expansion in the helicopter business, United Technologies still does not consider the segment a strategic fit in the company’s portfolio.

The company decided to spin-off the segment early last month, and is in talks with potential buyers, while looking at various options such as stand-alone unit, joint venture, and full acquisition of the segment.

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