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.