Sikorsky S2 nears first flight

The X2 TECHNOLOGY Demonstrator combines an integrated suite of technologies intended to advance the state-of-the-art, counter-rotating coaxial rotor helicopter

After three years in development and experimental testing, the first flight of Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.'s X2 TECHNOLOGY Demonstrator is within reach, James Kagdis, program manager, Advanced Programs, reported on July 16 at the Farnborough International Air Show. Sikorsky (Stratford, Conn.).

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 and simple transition to high speed.

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 and an integrated auxiliary propulsion system. The X2 TECHNOLOGY Demonstrator has accomplished more than 14 hours of ground run testing and is progressing toward first flight.

"The Demonstrator has completed Phase 2 of ground run testing with blades on, and is in final build-up for first flight," Kagdis said. "Customer feedback since tells us that X2 TECHNOLOGY has the potential to be applied to a broad range of missions. We are excited at the prospects of transforming vertical flight through this innovative technology."

Sikorsky's Schweizer Aircraft Corp. rapid-prototyping facility in Horseheads, N.Y., is preparing the X2 TECHNOLOGY Demonstrator for its first flight.