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The Slick New S-97 Raider Makes the Black Hawk Look *So* 1974
The competition to be the next Army helicopter is heating up. On June 20th, Sikorsky's S-97 Raider once again took flight completing a 90-minute demonstration, the first since an August 2017 crash caused by flight software errors grounded the program
According to Sikorsky, the S-97 will be capable of ‘light assault, light attack, armed reconnaissance, close-air support, combat search and rescue, and unmanned applications.’ which would make the Raider a virtual flying Swiss Army knife.
With a more conventional twin rotor design (in the sense that there is only one operational tilt-rotor aircraft operating in military's around the world, and that is the V-22) than the Bell V-280 Valor, the Raider is designed to allow maximum maneuverability, capable of speeds of around 250 miles per hour and dropping six fully loaded troops into the fray. It has a reported range of 350 miles and can hover at an altitude of 10,000 feet. By comparison, the Valor can reach speeds of 322 miles per hour and has a range of between 500 to 900 miles depending on the configuration.
But the main selling point of the S-97 Raider comes out of the war in Afghanistan, where high altitude was king and helos would be stripped down to make it into the high mountain passes of the Hindu Kush. Not only does the S-97 have a much higher hover service ceiling, but it also can operate when it’s hot as well as high, with a max temperature rating of 95 degrees Fahrenheit — perfect for missions in the Middle East and Africa. (By comparison, the Valor has a hover service ceiling of roughly 6,000 feet, but the Valor can also cruise at 20,000 feet). Why the hot performance matters comes down to how lift is achieved. In hotter temperatures, air is thinner, which impacts how high the air-frame can go, how much fuel it is using, and other performance characteristics.
An artist's depiction of the S-97 performing operations in a high-heat environment.Sikorsky
It’s worth noting that there’s also a bigger, badder version of the S-97 on the way, the SB-1 Defiant. The Defiant is primed to be larger, faster, and able to fly farther than the S-97. Sikorsky is aiming to throw the one-two punch, by offering the S-97 to take on the Kiowa/Apache role, while the SB-1 takes on the heavier lift role of the UH-60 Blackhawk.
As the competition to become the next Army helicopter heats up, it will be interesting to see who will come out on top, the long range of the Bell V-280 Valor, or the maneuverability and high altitude S-97 Raider combined with the size of the SB-1 Defiant. One thing is certain: the future of Army Aviation certainly looks cool.
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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article did not specify the Bell V-280 maximum service ceiling mentioned of 6,000 ft. at 95 degrees Fahrenheit referred to the hover ceiling versus a cruise ceiling of around 20,000 ft. (Updated 6/25/2018; 1:133pm EST)
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran announced on Monday it had captured 17 spies working for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and sentenced some of them to death, deepening a crisis between the Islamic Republic and the West.
Iranian state television published images that it said showed the CIA officers who had been in touch with the suspected spies.
In a statement read on state television, the Ministry of Intelligence said 17 spies had been arrested in the 12 months to March 2019. Some have been sentenced to death, according to another report.
One of the few things that aggravates your friend and humble narrator more than hazelnut flavored coffee is Soviet apologists.
Case in point: A recent opinion piece in the New York Times claims the Soviet space program was a model for equality, noting the Soviets put a woman into space 20 years before NASA when Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova orbited the Earth in 1963.
"Cosmonaut diversity was key for the Soviet message to the rest of the globe: Under socialism, a person of even the humblest origins could make it all the way up," wrote Sophie Pinkham just in time for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
This 100-year-old vet escaped a Nazi prison camp. Now he's at the center of a lawsuit over a Bible at his local VA
Herman "Herk" Streitburger was on his final bombing mission and due to go home when his plane was hit by German fighters over Hungary in 1944. He was captured and held as a prisoner of war, enduring starvation, forced marches and a harrowing escape.
Streitburger just turned 100 years old. That makes him a national treasure as well as a Granite State hero.
Streitburger, who lives in Bedford, gets around using a cane and remains active in POW groups and events. It was he who donated his family Bible to a POW "missing man" display at the VA Medical Center in Manchester, which prompted a federal First Amendment lawsuit.
And every year, he tells his World War II story to Manchester schoolchildren. It's a story worth retelling.
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Bob Pollock became known as perhaps one of the most dedicated people around Crofton, Maryland committed to honoring those who serve the nation. It only made sense, as the creator of the Two Rivers community monument told neighbors and friends he was a former Navy SEAL and had been a prisoner of war.
Except he wasn't.