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HANGAR TALK Sikorsky News


X2 Technology™ Demonstrator Achieves 250 Knots: Sets New Top Speed For A Helicopter Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.’s X2


Technology™ demonstrator has successfully achieved a speed of 250 knots true air speed in level flight at the Sikorsky Development Flight Center, accomplishing the program’s ultimate speed milestone. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. The speed, reached during a 1.1-hour flight, is an unofficial speed record for a helicopter. The demonstrator also reached 260 knots in a very shallow dive during the flight. “The aerospace industry today has a new horizon,” said Sikorsky President Jeffrey P. Pino. “The X2 Technology demonstrator continues to prove its potential as a game- changer, and Sikorsky Aircraft is proud to be advancing this innovative technology and to continue our company’s pio- neering legacy.” “Our primary key perform- ance parameter has been met,” said Jim Kagdis, Program Manager for Sikorsky Advanced Programs. “The 250-knot milestone was established as the goal of the demonstrator from its inception. It’s exciting to imagine how our customers will use this capability.”


ROTORCRAFTPROFESSIONAL


Kevin Bredenbeck, Sikorsky’s


Director of Flight Operations and Chief Pilot for the company and for its X2 Technology pro- gram, manned the milestone flight. Bredenbeck said the demonstrator has been per- forming well, meeting expecta- tions of performance predic- tions and progressing with every test flight.


“I’m proud of what the X2 Technology team has accom-


plished,” Bredenbeck said. “This was truly a collaborative effort that demanded a tremen- dous sacrifice from the full team. This dedication enabled the demonstrator to hit this his- torically high mark.” The X2 Technology demon- strator combines an integrated suite of technologies intended to advance the state-of-the-art, counter-rotating coaxial rotor helicopter. It is designed to


demonstrate that a helicopter can cruise comfortably at 250 knots while retaining such desirable attributes as excellent low-speed handling, efficient hovering, and a seamless and simple transition to high speed. The X2 Technology program began in 2005 when Sikorsky first committed resources and full funding for the program’s development.


Mark Miller, Sikorsky Vice


President of Research & Engineering, said: “The X2 Technology program is an ini- tiative of our Sikorsky Innovations team, and today it offers a clear and exciting vali- dation of our ability to take on the toughest challenges in verti- cal flight.” ◆


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