Sikorsky Aircraft has unveiled its X2 Technology Light Tactical Helicopter (LTH) design in mock-up form.
The avant-garde design “can potentially bring new rotorcraft capabilities that, to date, have been unachievable by the industry,” says Sikorsky President Jeffrey P. Pino.
“In addition to doubling the speed of helicopters, this technology can improve hot/high performance, maneuverability and low acoustic signature. Sikorsky’s Light Tactical Helicopter (pictured, below) concept demonstrates a way to package these capabilities into an airframe that is tailored to meet a range of military missions.”
Pino says Sikorsky Aircraft has invested in the LTH concept to illustrate its commitment to developing future capabilities that are achievable and affordable. X2 is scalable to a variety of military missions including assault, armed reconnaissance, close-air support and combat search and rescue, and unmanned applications.
The technology demonstrator aircraft (pictured, top), which achieved first flight in August 2008, is progressing toward the milestone of achieving 250 knot cruise speed. The project is funded entirely by Sikorsky.
The X2 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 at 250 knots, while retaining such desirable helicopter attributes as excellent low speed handling, efficient hovering, autorotation safety, and a seamless and simple transition to high speed.
Among the innovative technologies the X2 demonstrator employs are:
– Fly-by-wire flight controls
– Counter-rotating rigid rotor blades
– Hub drag reduction
– Active vibration control
– Integrated auxiliary propulsion system