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Wed, Jan 12, 2011

Classic Aero-TV: Sikorsky's Project Firefly -- Electrifying Future Rotorcraft

Sikorsky Remains One of Aviation's Most Aggressively Innovative Companies

Oshkosh 2010 was no stranger to innovation... though we must note that this year was a bumper crop in terms of the breadth of excitement we saw within the confines of Wittman Field... sport aviation, GA, BizAv, Military, Aerospace, you name it... there was no shortage of exciting innovations to feast your eyes on... especially where Sikorsky was concerned.

The Firefly Technology Demonstration Aircraft was unveiled on July 26th at Oshkosh as part of the world symposium on electric aircraft. The demonstrator was one of the main attractions in the Aviation Learning Center along with other state-of-the-art commercially available and prototype electric aircraft.

The demonstrator features a 200 horsepower electric motor, a motor controller, a battery system, and cockpit controls. First flight is anticipated later this year, upon completion of ground tests and safety of flight reviews in accordance with Sikorsky standard practice for all aircraft programs.

In building the demonstrator, the Innovations team replaced the legacy propulsion system of an S-300C helicopter with a high-efficiency electric motor and digital controller from U.S. Hybrid, coupled with a lithium ion energy storage system from Gaia. Integrated sensors provide real-time aircraft health information to the pilot through a panel integrated interactive LCD monitor. Eagle Aviation Technologies, LLC, executed the custom airframe modifications and assembly of the demonstrator aircraft.



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