September 12, 2015

Boeing Supercopter SB-1 Defiant will be flying in 2017, Eurocopter X2 first flew in 2013

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.

Boeing and Sikorsky are building and testing a propulsion system test bed into 2016, while their systems integration lab will be fully operational in the first quarter of the year.

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 250 kt (470 km/h) speed will be about 50% faster than the 315km/h speed of the CH-47F Chinook which is the world's fastest military helicopter.

Eurocopter X3

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

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