Achieved 42 Knots In First Forward Thrust Propeller Test
The Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation X2 Technology demonstrator
has made another two test flights, one of which included full
engagement of the distinctive propeller for the first time. In one
hour of testing conducted in two flights, the aircraft flew at
speeds reaching 52 knots in one test and 42 knots with the
propeller providing forward thrust in the second flight.
The demonstrator has accumulated more than three hours of
successful flight time at Sikorsky's facility in Horseheads, NY The
aircraft will relocate to the company's Development Flight Center
in West Palm Beach, FL, before month-end for continued test flights
leading up to the 250-knot speed record attempt.
The X2 demonstrator combines an integrated suite of technologies
intended to advance the state-of-the-art, counter-rotating coaxial
rotor helicopter. It is designed to demonstrate a helicopter can
cruise comfortably at 250 knots, while retaining such desirable
helicopter attributes as excellent low speed handling, efficient
hovering and autorotation safety, and a seamless transition to high
speed. Sikorsky is maturing this technology in preparation for
emerging missions including rapid air medical response for the
civil market and reconnaissance, attack, and special operations
missions for the military market.
"The program is progressing extremely well both technologically
and from a future applicability standpoint," said Mark Miller, Vice
President of Research and Engineering at Sikorsky. "Certainly we've
got much more to do, but interest continues to grow among both the
military and commercial sectors in how this technology might
improve current operations and enable new missions that today are
simply not possible with the current helicopter flight limitations.
These are exciting times."
Kevin Bredenbeck, Chief Test Pilot for Sikorsky, accomplished
the flights on June 30. "The aircraft completed a series of
accelerations and decelerations from hover to 52 knots," he said.
"The Stability Augmentation System operated as designed, and
vibration and noise levels were very low."
Jim Kagdis, Program Manager, Sikorsky Advanced Programs, added
that, "Each milestone achieved represents an important step as we
continue to mature X2 Technology to meet our customers' future
needs. X2 TECHNOLOGY offers significantly increased speed,
maneuverability and agility, high/hot performance, low acoustics
and low vibration, which all are very attractive features to meet