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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sikorsky Tests X2 Forward Thrust

Stratford, Conn.-based Sikorsky has completed airborne trails using the unique propeller design of its X2 Technology demonstrator for the first time. During the first of two flights on June 30, the aircraft reached a speed of 52 knots. During the second run, the X2 flew at 42 knots with the propellers supplying forward thrust. Kevin Bredenbeck, Sikorsky’s chief test pilot, notes that the aircraft underwent checks including accelerating and slowing down, adding that vibration and noise levels were very low. Sikorsky plans to operate the X2 at up to speeds of 250 knots, which is around twice as fast as today’s average helicopter. Mark Miller, vice president of research and engineering, says the X2 program “is progressing extremely well both technologically and from a future applicability standpoint.”
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