Helicopters Magazine

Sikorsky demonstrators add to AirVenture spirit

July 19, 2011  By Carey Fredericks

July 19, 2011, Oshkosh, Wis. - Sikorsky Innovations will display in static exhibits its popular X2 Technology and Project Firefly demonstrators at EAA AirVenture 2011, adding to a growing list of innovations and advancements that will be showcased throughout the week.

Sikorsky Aircraft is a supporting sponsor of The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration, scheduled for July 25-31 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.

Additionally, Sergei Sikorsky, the son of company founder Igor Sikorsky, is scheduled to appear and present stories of his father's aviation successes, which included creating the first single-rotor, mass-produced helicopter. Chief pilots and engineers from the X2 and Project Firefly teams will also conduct forums.

Sikorsky Aircraft is excited to again participate in the EAA AirVenture exhibition,said Chris Van Buiten, Director of Sikorsky Innovations.This is an exciting venue of aviation visionaries, thinkers and innovators, and we look forward to sharing the latest on Sikorsky Innovations initiatives.

The X2 Technology demonstrator, which achieved 250 knots true air speed in level flight in 2010 an unofficial speed record for conventional helicopters, uses a unique propulsion system of counter-rotating rigid rotor blades rotors powered by a LHTEC T800-LHT-801 turboshaft engine. The aircraft also has an integrated auxiliary propulsion system (a rear pusher prop) and has achieved the company's four performance objectives for the program: low single-pilot workload, low vibration, low acoustic signature, and high speed.


Project Firefly, an all-electric helicopter technology demonstrator, is an S-300C helicopter with a high-efficiency, 200-horsepower electric motor and digital controller from U.S. Hybrid, coupled with a lithium ion energy storage system from Gaia, automated monitoring and alert technologies and next generation cockpit displays.

Since aviation's pioneering days, Sikorsky Aircraft has been a leader and an innovator in helicopter design and technology, said Tom Poberezny, EAA and AirVenture chairman. Sikorsky's ingenuity continues to thrive and build on past advancements, and matches the innovative spirit shown by EAA members and exhibitors at AirVenture Oshkosh every year.

Earlier this year, the X2 was awarded the 2010 Robert J. Collier Trophy from the National Aeronautic Association, given annually to recognize America's greatest achievements in aeronautics or astronautics. It was the second Collier Trophy for Sikorsky Aircraft, with the other coming in 2002 for its S-92 helicopter.

The X2 and Project Firefly will be on display during AirVenture at Sikorsky's exhibit, located at booths 379-380 and 385-386 near ConocoPhillips Plaza. Sikorsky is part of a growing participation from the rotorcraft community in AirVenture's new Heli Center, a dedicated pavilion for the international helicopter community established in conjunction with Helicopter Association International.

With forums, presentations, and exhibits centered at the EAA Innovation Center, AirVenture 2011 will host a variety of electric aircraft as well as assorted roadable aircraft in functional and prototype form. Demonstration flights will also be conducted on select dates.

The second annual World Symposium on Electric Aircraft, set for July 29-30, will feature several influential industry leaders discussing electric propulsion aircraft in an open forum, offering what they envision is the future for this rapidly growing flight segment that is attracting the attention of scientists, engineers, manufacturers, and investors.


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