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  • ANALYSIS: Sikorsky pressing on with S-97 in pursuit of Army scout replacement

ANALYSIS: Sikorsky pressing on with S-97 in pursuit of Army scout replacement

According to test pilot lore, when Sikorsky tried flying its first advancing blade concept on the experimental S-69 rotorcraft – a system with two stacked blades rotating in opposite directions– the machine jackhammered so roughly that it rattled loose a gold crown in the pilot’s mouth. Sikorsky cannot confirm that legend, but acknowledges that its 1970s-era co-axial compound helicopter, which was powered by four jet engines and required two pilots to maintain control, was not a smooth ride.

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