Sikorsky has introduced RAIDER X, its concept for a coaxial helicopter specifically designed as a Light-Attack Reconnaissance Helicopter.

The aircraft is being offered through the US Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) programme.

“RAIDER X converges everything we’ve learned in years of developing, testing and refining X2 Technology and delivers warfighters a dominant, survivable and intelligent system that will excel in tomorrow’s battlespace where aviation overmatch is critical,” said Frank St. John, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems.

“The X2 Technology family of aircraft is a low-risk solution and is scalable based on our customers’ requirements”.

To date, the firm say that X2 aircraft have achieved/demonstrated:

  • Speeds in excess of 250 knots
  • High altitude operations in excess of 9,000 feet
  • Low-speed and high-speed maneuver envelopes out to 60+ degrees angle of bank
  • ADS-33B (Aeronautical Design Standard) Level 1 handling qualities with multiple pilots
  • Flight controls optimization and vibration mitigation

“The power of X2 is game changing. It combines the best elements of low-speed helicopter performance with the cruise performance of an airplane,” said Sikorsky experimental test pilot Bill Fell, a retired US Army pilot who has flown nearly every RAIDER test flight.

“Every flight we take in our S-97 RAIDER today reduces risk and optimizes our FARA prototype, RAIDER X.”

The aircraft will be competing against the Invictus.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

DaveyB (@guest_479325)
1 year ago

Why is no-one looking at an aircraft based on the Fairy/Westlands Rotodyne concept, especially Leonardo?

A convertiplane with a variable speed single main rotor with a pusher propeller, that has a main wing which offsets lift by at least 50%, will easily attain 300 knots on the same power used by the Raider. It will also fly further and higher than a comparable powered coaxial helicopter or tilt-rotor.

Spyinthesky (@guest_479447)
1 year ago
Reply to  DaveyB

The Rotadyne based on a documentary I watched was very noisy had serious vibration problems and I may be wrong but wasn’t especially efficient falling between that area where you arguably get more of the bad aspects than the good ones of its two parents. Now that might be appreciably due to it being before its time and under developed but I thought that the modern tilt rotors are essentially a concept that tries to reverse those debilitating factors but I don’t have a direct comparison of the two concepts to confirm that. It’s just that I find it difficult… Read more »

Spyinthesky (@guest_479449)
1 year ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Actually just read up on the Rotodyne, it was rather more impressive than I had realised actually, hadn’t realised its main designer was the pre war Cierva autogiro guy. But the thing that caught my eye was its precursor the Gyrodyne. Check it out it is almost identical to the Eurocopter X3 which is the aircraft I was thinking of above.

DaveyB (@guest_479453)
1 year ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

I said concept not aircraft. A helicopter with a single main rotor disc uses it for both lift and thrust, about 15% of the available power is taken to provide an anti-torque reaction to drive a tail rotor. On most normal helicopters the tail rotor is parasitic in that apart from providing anti-torque, at greater than 65% forward airspeed it has little use. The Blackhawk series of helicopters tilt the tail rotor so it provides a bit of extra lift, but only around 3%. As the helicopter’s forward airspeed builds up, the blade tip will be going significantly faster than… Read more »

davetrousers (@guest_479373)
1 year ago


DaveyB (@guest_479400)
1 year ago
Reply to  davetrousers


Postpositivist (@guest_479708)
1 year ago

Here’s a new video from Sikorsky on the Raider X. Seems quite a bit quieter without the pusher prop.

DaveyB (@guest_479846)
1 year ago
Reply to  Postpositivist

Below I’ve attached a video. It shows the Airbus X3 and how they broke the “compound helicopter speed record”. They achieved 255knots, or just over 470kph/190mph. Sorry its 10 minutes long and in French, with English subtitles. This is not bad considering it was done 8 years ago with the aircraft still basically a Dauphin with a new tail (no fenestron); It required the addition of the two small wings, a pair of propellers and some minor undercarriage modifications. Leonardo/Westlands could easily do this with a Lynx airframe! Using the same principles to slow the rotor rpm down whilst… Read more »

David (@guest_479863)
1 year ago
Reply to  DaveyB

255 Knots is 293mph: a nautical mile is more than a mile.

DaveyB (@guest_480021)
1 year ago
Reply to  David

Oops, typo alert.