Aims To Show Rotorcraft Can Travel VERY Fast
An on-again, off-again development project that could change the
nature of rotorcraft design has seen the light of day. Sikorsky
unveiled its X2 Technology Demonstrator this weekend at the George
R. Brown Convention Center at Heli-Expo 2008.
The X2 Technology Demonstrator is designed to demonstrate how a
helicopter can cruise comfortably at 250 knots, while retaining
desirable helicopter attributes, including excellent low speed
handling, efficient hovering and autorotation safety, and a
seamless and simple transition to high speed.
"The X2 Technology Demonstrator is an integrated suite of
technologies intended to advance the state-of-the-art,
counter-rotating coaxial rotor helicopter. As we continue to work
to prove out and mature the technologies that will allow the X2
Technology Demonstrator to become a viable product, we are focused
on testing its limits and finding out where this technology will
take us," said Jeffrey P. Pino, Sikorsky President.
"This could be a 'game changer' in the industry. We are
diligently pursuing this as a research project. We are testing the
limits and pioneering this exciting innovation."
In development at Sikorsky for several years, the X2 Technology
Demonstrator sports fly-by-wire flight controls, counter-rotating
rigid rotor blades, hub drag reduction, active vibration control,
and an integrated auxiliary propulsion system.
Peter Grant, Sikorsky Senior Manager of Advanced Programs, noted
the X2 Technology Demonstrator has continued to make progress
toward first flight.
"Throughout 2007, the aircraft made excellent additional build
and subsystem test progress, re-entering vehicle ground testing in
November 2007. Extensive test instrumentation is also being
installed as preparation for its first flight," Grant said.
As ANN reported, Sikorsky
Aircraft first announced X2 Technology in June 2005. After being
grounded in 2006 during a 10-week machinists strike, Sikorsky
resumed development of the X2 next-generation helicopter last
The X2 Technology Demonstrator is built as a rapid prototyping
collaboration effort with Sikorsky subsidiary Schweizer Aircraft.
The project is solely funded by Sikorsky.