March 25, 2015
PPG Aerospace produces transparencies for Sikorsky S-97 RAIDER helicopter
PPG Industries’ aerospace transparencies group produced the transparencies for the S-97 RAIDER rotorcraft prototype rolled out by Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. Tthe 14-ft² windshields are polycarbonate laminates for high impact strength and light weight with 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 RAIDER helicopter 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.” Using polycarbonate enabled PPG to provide the optimum balance between high strength and light weight for the windshields, he said. The windshields have passed testing to resist impact of a 2.2-pound bird at the demanding high speeds of the RAIDER aircraft. PPG also designed acrylic cockpit and cabin-door windows and stretched-acrylic lower observation windows for strength and light weight. PPG is designing and manufacturing the transparencies at its Sylmar, California, facility, and has delivered ship sets to Sikorsky for two S-97 RAIDER helicopter prototypes.