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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Rotorcraft Report: Sikorsky Reports First X2 Run With Main Rotors Installed

PRODUCTS | AIRFRAMES

Sikorsky Aircraft reports it successfully ran its X2 Technology Demonstrator with its coaxial main rotors installed for the first time on May 13.

That ground-run test marks a milestone for the program, which aims to field an aircraft that cruises at 250 kt with low vibration while retaining a traditional helicopter’s capabilities. Sikorsky engineers had planned about 10 hr of "bare-head" runs, without the main-rotor blades installed, and were about halfway through them when the aircraft was brought to Heli-Expo in Houston at the end of February.

The test program calls for about 65 hr of run time with the main rotors on the X2 demonstrator, followed by about 10 hr with no changes to its flight-control or integrated-power system software before the aircraft could be cleared for its first flight.

The ground tests are being conducted at Sikorsky’s rapid-prototyping center at its Schweizer Aircraft subsidiary in Horseheads, N.Y.

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