The Sikorsky-Boeing SB-1 DEFIANT™ Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR TD) helicopter is their third X2® aircraft in less than 10 years. The aircraft will prove the scalability of the X2 design to a 30,000-lb. class weight. (This contrasts with the 6,000-lb X2 Technology Demonstrator and the RAIDER™ at 11,400 lbs.) Sikorsky-Boeing expects to begin final assembly of the SB-1 DEFIANT in June 2016, followed by flight tests during 2017-2018.
Defiant will be flown at speeds up to 250 kt, slightly in excess of the 230 kt required by the army’s 2012 Broad Area Announcement. “We have designed fuel tanks to support the requirement, presuming that a modern technology engine will be available at a later time,” he explained.
Flying the 30,000 lb Defiant will also be a demonstration of scalability. The S-97 it is based on was a 7,000 lb vehicle, while the S-97’s precursor, the X2, weighed 2,000 lb
The Eurocopter X³ (X-Cubed) is an experimental high-speed compound helicopter developed by Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters). A technology demonstration platform for Eurocopter “high-speed, long-range hybrid helicopter” or H³ concept, the X³ achieved 255 knots (472 km/h; 293 mph) in level flight on 7 June 2013, setting an unofficial speed record for a helicopter. Eurocopter/Airbus Helicopters has suggested that a production H³ application could appear as soon as 2020.
* Defiant is in its ‘detailed design’ phase and approaching a critical design review
* The milestones will set the stage for final assembly of the flight demonstrator next year