Photo by Stephen Trimble
Rolling up to Sikorsky's flight test center on the edge for the Everglades before dawn this morning, I told the guard I was here for the "X2 media event". The guard looked confused, and replied: "But that's tomorrow." The dude left me hanging in shock and primal dread for several seconds before he broke into a grin. "Nah, I'm just kidding with you," he said. Just my luck to find the only corporate security guard in the aersospace industry with a mischievous sense of humor.
My return flight to Atlanta was already booked for 11am, and this was an event I did not want to miss.
Having completed a record-breaking, 250kt flight with the X2 last month, Sikorsky finally showed the aircraft in flight to the media, then revealed plans to develop two flying prototypes called the S-97 light tactical helicopter. Read my news story on S-97 here. Or watch Sikorsky president Jeff Pino briefing the press below.
I filmed as much of the event as I could on my Sony flip-cam. It's a little shaky during parts of the X2 flight demonstration, as I was filming with my left hand while snapping photos with my right. After the X2 makes a 160kt pass in a race with a Bell 407 (which actually was simulating the 90kt top speed of the OH-58 Kiowa), fast forward to the 20-minute mark. Then you'll see the X2 flying past the reviewing stand at 210kts.