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Sikorsky’s S-97 Raider prototype suffered a hard landing during flight testing at the Sikorsky Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, yesterday, the company has confirmed.
Neither of the two crew members on board were injured in the incident, which happened as the aircraft was in the hover during a test flight at about 7:30 a.m.
In a brief statement on the hard landing, Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky’s parent company, said the incident was under investigation and gave no details on the extent of the damage to the aircraft — one of two prototypes working on the program. “We fully intend to continue advancing the X2 Technology,” the company said.
The Raider is a coaxial-rotor compound helicopter based on technology developed in Sikorsky’s X2 demonstrator, using a variable-pitch pusher propeller to achieve higher speeds than are possible with a conventional helicopter design.