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Wed, Jul 16, 2008

Farnborough '08: First X2 Technology Demonstrator Flight 'Within Reach'

Advanced Helo Concept In Development For Three Years

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, said this week at the Farnborough International Air Show.

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, NY is preparing the X2 Technology Demonstrator for its 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. 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.

The X2 Technology Demonstrator features a number of advanced features, including fly-by-wire flight controls, counter-rotating rigid rotor blades, and an integrated auxiliary propulsion system. Hub drag reduction and active vibration control are also employed on the X2.

Sikorsky Aircraft first announced the initiative to develop an integrated suite of technologies called X2 Technology in June 2005. After a series of early achievements, the helomaker was forced to stall development in late 2006 due to a 10-week machinists strike before starting anew in 2007. The project is funded solely by Sikorsky.

FMI: www.sikorsky.com

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