First flight by the UH-60M Black Hawk completes the second debut of a new Sikorsky rotorcraft in as many days.
The 1hr airborne test by the fly-by-wire UH-60M today follows one day after a 30min first flight by the high-speed X2 technology demonstrator, which features a coaxial rotor and an aft pusher propeller.
Unlike the X2 prototype, the UH-60M has been developed under contract by a real customer. The US Army plans to replace all of its older UH-60 inventory over the next decade with the newer version.
The UH-60M is the first to incorporate fly-by-wire controls and the General Electric T700-GE-701E engine equipped with fully authorized digital engine control. Rockwell Collins also is upgrading the cockpit with the Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS).
The first flight event at Sikorsky’s facility in West Palm Beach, Florida, allowed the crew to test the aircraft’s hover, forward flight and hover turn.
Three more aircraft types are scheduled for first flight by the end of the year.
The H-92 search and rescue helicopter ordered by the Canadian air force is scheduled for first flight in the fourth quarter.
Sikorsky also plans to fly by end-year the first S-76D, which includes composite rotor blades and the Pratt & Whitney 210S engine.
Finally, the four-bladed version of the S-333 helicopter, the Sikorsky-Schweizer S-434, is expected to fly in the fourth quarter.