Sikorsky’s X2 demonstrator – another milestone
July 6, 2009, Horseheads, NY – Sikorsky's X2 TECHNOLOGY™ demonstrator achieved another milestone with the completion of two test flights that included full engagement of the distinctive propeller for the first time.
By Matt Nicholls
July 2, 2009, Horseheads, NY – The Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation X2 TECHNOLOGY™ demonstrator achieved another milestone with the completion of two test flights that included full engagement of the distinctive propeller for the first time. In one hour of testing conducted in two flights, the aircraft flew at speeds reaching 52 knots in one test and 42 knots with the propeller providing forward thrust in the second flight. The X2 TECHNOLOGY demonstrator is designed to reach speeds of 250 knots – or twice as fast as helicopters can travel today. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).
The demonstrator has accumulated more than three hours of successful flight time at Sikorsky’s facility in Horseheads, N.Y. The aircraft will relocate to the company’s Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., before month-end for continued test flights leading up to the 250-knot speed record.
The X2 TECHNOLOGY demonstrator combines an integrated suite of technologies intended to advance the state-of-the-art, counter-rotating coaxial rotor helicopter. It is designed to demonstrate a helicopter can cruise comfortably at 250 knots, while retaining such desirable helicopter attributes as excellent low speed handling, efficient hovering and autorotation safety, and a seamless transition to high speed. Sikorsky is maturing this technology in preparation for emerging missions including rapid air medical response for the civil market and reconnaissance, attack, and special operations missions for the military market.
“The program is progressing extremely well both technologically and from a future applicability standpoint,” said Mark Miller, Vice President of Research and Engineering at Sikorsky. “Certainly we’ve got much more to do, but interest continues to grow among both the military and commercial sectors in how this technology might improve current operations and enable new missions that today are simply not possible with the current helicopter flight limitations. These are exciting times.”
Kevin Bredenbeck, Chief Test Pilot for Sikorsky, accomplished the flights on June 30. “The aircraft completed a series of accelerations and decelerations from hover to 52 knots,” he said. “The Stability Augmentation System operated as designed, and vibration and noise levels were very low.”
Jim Kagdis, Program Manager, Sikorsky Advanced Programs, added that, “Each milestone achieved represents an important step as we continue to mature X2 TECHNOLOGY to meet our customers’ future needs. X2 TECHNOLOGY offers significantly increased speed, maneuverability and agility, high/hot performance, low acoustics and low vibration, which all are very attractive features to meet future requirements.”
Among the innovative technologies the X2 TECHNOLOGY demonstrator employs are:
• Fly-by-wire flight controls
• Counter-rotating rigid rotor blades
• Hub drag reduction
• Active vibration control
• Integrated auxiliary propulsion system
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture, and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.
This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning future business opportunities. Actual results may differ materially from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to changes in government procurement priorities and practices or in the number of aircraft to be built; challenges in the design, development, production and support of advanced technologies; as well as other risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to those detailed from time to time in United Technologies Corporation's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.