The Sikorsky S97 Raider with a coaxial rotor system and an aft propeller, which can reach speeds of up to 250 KIAS has made its first lift off this
morning and it was successful.
3d Artist rendering when the S97 was first announced:
I've been watching this thing since the first proof of concept aircraft went up the Sikorsky X2, which is currently the fastest helicopter in the
The S97 Raider was built for the SOF mission set. It can reach targets faster, which is excellent for time sensitive missions.
My view on the maintenance program in general for these aircraft is based on the capability and speeds the Raider can achieve.
Corrosion Control: 90 day interval to be done in conjunction with Aircraft Wash requirements. The interval can be shrunk to down to every 30 day with
a per flight fresh water soak for sea operations or within 25 miles of salt water bodies. Interval not to exceed 90 days.
Aircraft Wash: 30 days, fresh water soak per-flight interval if operating near salt water or sea borne operations.
Hourly inspections: 10 hour inspection to be done either every ten flight hours or completed on post flight. 10 hour inspections will cover the
coaxial rotor head for signs of heat/friction damage, elastomeric bearing inspection for disbonding, and blade inspection for erosion, and FOD check.
Every 25-30 flight hours will be to check the wear tolerance between the coaxial rotor stator which allows for the blades to turn in opposite
directions, engine to highspeed shaft inspection for heat/friction damage, exhaust system heat sink inspection for cracks(which is common). Pitch
control rod and swashplate bearing and play inspections for tolerance and damage. Anti-flap, and droop stop inspections for damage an disbonding.
Every 120 hours will be Phase 1 Rotor and Propeller system inspection. The whole rotor system, engines, and drive shafting to be pulled, inspected,
parts replaced if not within spec, and resinstalled/replaced as required. Engines borespcope inspected for damage to compressor fans, and flushed
Post-120 Hour Phase is ground runs, highspeed shaft balance, main rotor system track and balance, and propeller timing. Post phase torque checks on
all torqued component parts every 6-11 flight hours.
Every 240 hours is Phase 2 Airframe/Hydraulic-Pneudraulic/Flight Control systems inspection and repair.
Based on the publicly know specs of this aircraft, these are the maintenance requirements I would press into effect until enough data has been
gathered to either extend or shorten the intervals. These are extremely conservative for a reason. This aircraft is so fast, and the rotors spin so
fast that stresses on the engines, drive shafting, rotors, and the airframe itself would be greater than any aircraft currently in military service.
I personally would love the opportunity to take this thing apart and study it.
edit on pFri, 22 May 2015 13:17:00
-0500201522America/Chicago2015-05-22T13:17:00-05:0031vx5 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)
Rotorcraft all have a high maintenance requirement. They are flying fatigue machines.
Look near the end of "Tale of Things to Come", the H.G. Wells movie with Raymond Massey, about the evolution of mankind, and see this rotor craft in
white delivering the space travelers to the launch cannon.
This content community relies on user-generated content from our member contributors. The opinions of our members are not those of site ownership who maintains strict editorial agnosticism and simply provides a collaborative venue for free expression.