PPG Industries’ aerospace transparencies group is producing the transparencies for the S-97 RAIDER™ rotorcraft prototype rolled out by Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. PPG designs and manufactures the transparencies at its Sylmar, Calif., facility, and has delivered ship sets to Sikorsky for two S-97 prototypes.
The 14-square-foot windshields are constructed with polycarbonate laminates for high-impact strength at a light weight. The windshields have passed testing to resist impact of a 2.2-pound bird at the demanding high speeds reached by the S-97.
They also feature PPG’s proprietary protective coatings to extend service life, according to Brent Wright, PPG global platform director for aerospace transparencies. “Sikorsky wanted windshields that will afford pilots maximum visibility, which is critical during flight operations of the S-97 because of its speed and performance capabilities,” Wright said. “PPG wanted that visibility maintained as long as possible, so we designed a new coatings system for improved haze and scratch resistance.”
The S-97 is a light tactical helicopter weighing 11,400 pounds. It features the X2® rotorcraft design, which uses coaxial counter-rotating main rotors and a pusher propeller to provide improvements in maneuverability, hover efficiency, high/hot climate performance and speed.
Sikorsky provided 75 percent of the investment for the program, and PPG Aerospace is among 53 U.S. companies participating as principal suppliers that are collectively providing the remainder. The first flight of the S-97 is expected this year.
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