VIDEOS: Sikorsky races X2, then unveils S-97 scout helo



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.

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11 Responses to VIDEOS: Sikorsky races X2, then unveils S-97 scout helo

  1. Sven Ortmann 20 October, 2010 at 10:51 pm #

    “…which actually was simulating the 90kt top speed of the OH-58 Kiowa…”

    That top speed should be much, much higher (and it’s “kts”).

  2. Moose 21 October, 2010 at 12:16 am #

    Second video isn’t showing up for me, Firefox and IE both.

  3. SMSgt Mac 21 October, 2010 at 1:31 am #

    I want to like this approach very much in spite of my natural aversion to the ‘appearance’ of uneccessary complexity in the craft’s conceptual design. I’ll be very interested to see how Sikorsky extracts enough cost/performance benefit from the contra-rotating rotor/compound helo approach without incurring a wicked R&M/O&S overhead. If the ‘Winged S’ is this confident, this should be a pretty cool program to watch.

  4. Matthew G. Saroff 21 October, 2010 at 4:50 am #

    Sounds like a leaf blower.

  5. Big D 21 October, 2010 at 5:15 am #

    Impressive. Was it as quiet as the camera made it out to be? And is anyone else mildly freaked out by how modern CCDs erase the rotor disk and make rotors look like a ceiling fan at the lowest setting?

    I’m also intrigued by the claimed capacity of 2+6 (plus weapons). That’s more than just a Kiowa replacement; that’s getting into LUH territory, and if the range matches the speed, and the cost is right, could 2-3 S-97s approximate the performance of a single MV-22 for less expense and without the decades of tiltrotor issues?

  6. Chris 21 October, 2010 at 3:35 pm #

    Ack! No, no, no! Steve was right, it’s “kt” not “kts”. Otherwise, every unit should have an “s” appended to the end, like “kWs” or “kms” or “ins” and society will crumble as we lose track of where the seconds units are hiding. Let’s not have another Mars Climate Orbiter…

  7. Dave 21 October, 2010 at 3:59 pm #

    Sikorsky is low balling the Kiowa’s speed- it’s about 120 knots max…

  8. TL 21 October, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

    Recon, reloads from the cabin and troops transport? Now that’s very Mi-24a. I recall that the indians wanted Russia to develop a follow on to the Mi-24 but that the Russians weren’t interested. Considering the joint transport project, it might be a good time and idea to resurrect such a project.

  9. Howe 21 October, 2010 at 11:12 pm #

    Man that thing was haulin ass, seems wierd to watch a helo go that fast.

  10. sferrin 22 October, 2010 at 12:53 am #

    Someone needs to paint black and yellow stripes on it.

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