helicopter, sikorsky, boeing, x2, coaxial, rotor

Sikorsky and Boeing are set to outline their plans for a new and improved utility and attack helicopter on March 6th.

The X2 proposal is based on a demonstration model that first flew in August 2008. According to Samir Mehta, president of Sikorsky Military Systems, the new helicopter will have “efficient 230-knot cruise airspeed, improved hover efficiency, and weight optimized design in an affordable package.”

Boeing and Sikorsky are hoping to get the X2 accepted as the US military’s choice for its next generation helicopter, allowing them further access to the never-ending flow of money that is the American military budget. They rest their hopes on a test flight by an X2 demonstration model on September 15th, 2010, when the X2 broke the speed record for a helicopter by reaching 460 kilometers per hour during level flight.

The key to the X2’s performance is its coaxial rotor design. Unlike traditional helicopters, the X2’s two rotors rotate in opposite directions. When united with a rear “pusher-prop” and Honeywell’s fly-by-wire navigation system, the X2 has more than enough power and stability to break the old record – and perhaps enough to break its own sometime in the future.

Winning bids for the next generation attack helicopter are set to be announced in late 2013, and the first craft will be taking flight by 2017.

Watch a Video of X2s Record Breaking Flight:


Images and Video Courtesy of
Boeing and Sikorsky

 

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