SOURCE: Aurora Flight Sciences

Aurora Flight Sciences

October 02, 2014 13:00 ET

S-97 RAIDER™ Rolls Out

MANASSAS, VA--(Marketwired - Oct 2, 2014) - The S-97 RAIDER™ was unveiled today by Sikorsky Aircraft, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX). Designed to be the fastest production helicopter ever made and delivering revolutionary capabilities, it features an airframe designed and built by Aurora Flight Sciences.

Aurora's role on the project began in 2011 with selection to be the design and build partner for the complete fuselage and empennage. Starting from Sikorsky's concept design, Aurora performed preliminary and detail design and analysis culminating in the Critical Design Review in August 2012. Aurora delivered the first fuselage assembly and tested beyond critical flight loads in September 2013 in support of Sikorsky's aggressive development timeline.

The S-97 RAIDER airframe, fabricated in Bridgeport, West Virginia, is 70% composite (by weight) and comprised of over 1,000 custom detail components in six major primary and secondary structure assemblies. Relying on Aurora's demonstrated expertise in air vehicle development, the S-97 RAIDER includes extensive use of advanced composite materials and 3-D digital design data throughout the lifecycle of the development program (tooling surfaces, ply development, cutting and projection, detail part inspection, assembly and final configuration conformance). Innovative tooling techniques with minimal final assembly tooling, relying on the use of laser tracking, enabled a high quality initial build fuselage.

"When Sikorsky launched the RAIDER program four years ago, it issued a challenge to industry experts to join us on a mission to develop and produce an aircraft with revolutionary capabilities that are above and beyond existing technologies. Aurora Flight Sciences accepted that challenge as one of 53 critical partners on this program, and has delivered on its promise to support the mission. Today, we stand as a solid industry team introducing the next generation of military aircraft," said Mark Miller, Vice President of Sikorsky Research & Engineering.

"The S-97 helicopter will prove to be an important turning point in helicopter history," said Aurora CEO John Langford. "Being able to fly twice as fast as any other production helicopter will make the S-97 RAIDER a point of departure for a whole new family of flying machines -- starting with the Army's Armed Aerial Scout. We look forward to supporting Sikorsky by building hundreds more of these."

About Aurora Flight Sciences
Aurora Flight Sciences is a leader in the development and manufacturing of advanced aerospace vehicles. Aurora is headquartered in Manassas, VA and operates production plants in Bridgeport, WV and Columbus, MS; and a Research and Development Center in Cambridge, MA. To view recent press releases and more about Aurora please visit our website at

S-97, S-97 RAIDER, and RAIDER are trademarks of Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.

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