Sikorsky will conduct a significant amount of ground testing on its S-97 Raider before returning to flight trials, with just 2.2h of a 110h flight test programme clocked since the maiden flight in May.
S-97 chief test pilot Bill Fell says more testing will be done with ground-test rid at Sikorsky’s plant in West Palm Beach, Florida, to build “confidence” in the aircraft’s components ahead of further flights.
Speaking at an Association of the United States Army (AUSA) conference in Washington, Fell says the ground-test rig has already logged 40h of what is expected to be a 200h test run.
By 200h, Fell says the programme will have the “green light” to begin flying an expanded flight envelope. Sikorsky expects to reach top speeds of 220-230kt by next summer (June to August).