Sikorsky's X2 high-speed helicopter technology demonstrator is on track to achieve its targeted milestone of first flight by early December.
Sikorsky president Jeff Pino says the X2 demonstrator's forward fuselage, centre fuselage and tailcone have come together and that major system detail design has been completed.
Sikorsky is building the coaxial-rotor high-speed helicopter to cruise at 250kt (460km/h), compared with 150-170kt for conventional helicopters. The tandem-seat, single-engine demonstrator is being built by an offshoot of the company's Elmira, New York-based Schweizer Aircraft subsidiary - the Sikorsky Hawk Works.
"The first round of rotor testing is complete, the main shafts and transmissions are in fabrication and ground testing will begin later this summer. This completely new fly-by-wire control [when tested in a Model 333] performed flawlessly, displaying better than expected stability. The data gathered from this risk-reduction flight testing is now incorporated into the full X2 Technology fly-by wire system," says Pino.
He adds that Sikorsky has yet to make a decision on its ultimate application, whether military or civilian. "We have a lot of work to do and get our science right before we make that decision. There are several viable competitors on the marketplace, but we are confident about where we are."
|X2 could be flying by year-end|