Sikorsky X2 TECHNOLOGY Demonstrator achieves first flight

The craft features coaxial, counter-rotating blades manufactured of composites by Eagle Aviation Technologies.

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. (Stratford, Conn.) announced on Aug. 27 that it has successfully completed the first flight of its X2 TECHNOLOGY Demonstrator, maneuvering the prototype aircraft through hover, forward flight and a hover turn, in a test flight that lasted approximately 30 minutes.

Sikorsky chief test pilot Kevin Bredenbeck conducted the test flight at Sikorsky's Schweizer Aircraft Corp. rapid-prototyping facility in Horseheads, N.Y. The milestone culminated more than four years of design, development and testing of the Demonstrator aircraft's suite of technologies that are intended to advance the state-of-the-art, counter-rotating coaxial rotor helicopter.

The X2 TECHNOLOGY Demonstrator is designed to establish that a helicopter can cruise comfortably at 250 knots, while retaining such desirable helicopter attributes as excellent low-speed handling, efficient hovering, and safe autorotation, combined with a seamless and simple transition to high speed.

Among the technologies the X2 TECHNOLOGY Demonstrator employs are: Counter-rotating, all-composite rigid rotor blades; fly-by-wire flight controls; hub drag reduction; active vibration control; integrated auxiliary propulsion system.
Sikorsky first announced the initiative to develop an integrated suite of technologies called X2 TECHNOLOGY in June 2005. The project is funded solely by Sikorsky. Among the suppliers for the craft is Eagle Aviation Technologies Inc., which provided the main composite rotor blades and miscellaneous composite hardware