First unveiled last year, Sikorsky’s S-97 Raider helicopter has completed its first flight in West Palm Beach, Florida. Nicknamed “the Batmobile of the skies,” it’s designed to to be a multi-mission aircraft, capable of transporting six troops and external weapons, that will eventually replace the US Army’s OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter. The company anticipates the S-97 will be capable of cruise speeds of up to 276mph, thanks to its “compound-coaxial helicopter” design, meaning it has two rotors that turn in opposite directions on a central mast. Continue reading for two videos and more information.
“During the first test flight, Pilot Bill Fell and Co-Pilot Kevin Bredenbeck took the aircraft through a series of maneuvers designed to test the aircraft’s hover and low-speed capability. The S-97 Raider prototype will now move onto tougher flight testing. These tests will be designed to demonstrate capabilities critical to a variety of potential combat missions, including armed reconnaissance, light assault, light attack and special operations,” reports The Daily Mail.