Boeing Flies Next Generation Rotocraft With Double the Speed and Range

The Sikorsky-Boeing #SB1 DEFIANT™ helicopter completed its first flight on March 21, 2019. This next generation vehicle will have twice the speed and twice the range of helicopters.

Its two coaxial main rotors and a rear mounted pusher propulsor, DEFIANT is unlike production rotorcraft available today. It represents a leap forward in technology to achieve the U.S. government’s desire for vast increases in speed and range while improving maneuverability and survivability in a cost-effective way. DEFIANT aircraft’s use of X2™ Technology will allow the Army to penetrate from strategic standoff and exploit gaps created in complex Anti-Access Area Denial systems against near-peer adversaries.

“DEFIANT is designed to fly at nearly twice the speed and has twice the range of conventional helicopters while retaining the very best, if not better, low-speed and hover performance of conventional helicopters,” said Dan Spoor, vice president, Sikorsky Future Vertical Lift. “This design provides for exceptional performance in the objective area, where potential enemy activity places a premium on maneuverability, survivability and flexibility. We are thrilled with the results of today’s flight and look forward to an exciting flight test program.”

The helicopter is participating in the Army’s Joint Multi-Role-Medium Technology Demonstrator program. Data from DEFIANT will help the Army develop requirements for new utility helicopters expected to enter service in the early 2030s. This flight marks a key milestone for the Sikorsky-Boeing team and is the culmination of significant design, simulation and test activity to further demonstrate the capability of the X2 Technology.

X2 Technology is scalable to a variety of military missions such as attack and assault, long-range transportation, infiltration and resupply. DEFIANT is the third X2® aircraft in less than 10 years.

SOURCES- Boeing, Youtube

Written by Brian Wang

48 thoughts on “Boeing Flies Next Generation Rotocraft With Double the Speed and Range”

  1. Here is another very interesting vehicle by Bell company that should appear in Los Angeles and Houston skies in about 2023 and other cities to follow. Bell is also pitching this to the military and for that reason picked a hybrid powertrane for longer range. Highly recommend this detailed video
    https://youtu.be/mEbFeRyRHo8

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  2. Valor is claiming great hoover spec as well so will see. You are right turning engines would also lift up clouds of sand obscure visibility on landing and burning the surface of ship landing pads. They also were blocking sideways egress. So lots of problems solved there. Another improvement is the straight wing which allows a shaft to connect the two engines so now one engine can drive both rotors so if one engine is shot up it can still fly on the remaining single engine. Also the avionics on it will be F35 level and just check out the cabin display! https://youtu.be/5NgFpIZ9cCE

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  3. Crushed so many of what? This is the first prototype and never been crushed. If you are about Osprey then you are off target, this is a smaller bird and not currently replacing V22s. Ospreys are doing well now and a lot more being bought.

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  4. You must be the only person thinking it could be confused with not CGI but it does not make this product less real. It is still in development. This company already has real commercial jetpack https://youtu.be/LvELzB7jY_0
    that works very well so this company has the most expertise in the world with this type of product, well them and Frank Zapata’s fly board air.
    Anyway right now it is developed primarily for the military. Frank Zapata’s been flying his jet fly board air for dozens of times
    without A.I. All you need is fly by wire controls which this bike will have.
    https://youtu.be/-kB-BGMXxZc

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  5. Valor does one thing right, which is not tilting the engines, which is a major design problem as many engines really don’t like being tilted 90 degrees for long periods at high power.

    But needs are needs, and the Defiant fits the needs of people who need to hover for a long time. Valor is more like the Osprey, in that it’s more for dash in and out, and range is the overriding factor. This is why the US army favors the Valor, while the US Navy is interested in the Defiant.

    But both are involved with the FVL develoment program, and that has a heavy lift component. Apparently the design of the gearbox system on the Defiant is such that they have a scaling/center of lift issue and won’t be able to make a heavy lift version.

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  6. I agree, it has better…everything. Not to mention the V-280 is nearly a full year ahead of the Defiant. This contract is a no brainier.

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  7. As it is currently designed, the slightest gust of wind would crash that thing on the ground. That’s why Paul Moller increased the wingspan of its various M400 Skycar prototypes further and further, and finally had to put his engines at the very end of each wingtip (making his flying car finally look like some airplane with ducted engines): to better control such unwanted rolling motion, that is very dangerous for a compact body not relying mainly on lift from large wings.

    However they could put lateral jets on both sides and play with the jet array underneath at the same time to severely control roll.

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  8. Another factor is that the tiltrotor necessarily has smaller rotor diameter. For the same weight of aircraft that means higher downdraft speeds and higher fuel consumption in the hover.

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  9. As I explained recently, having your complex equipment be unusable by less technologically advanced nations is a feature, not a bug.

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  10. …what is your point. Its like saying helmets are stupid because they won’t stop a 120mm tank round.

    Oh god this sounds like another “armor is stupid because it doesn’t stop ALL damage!” debate. If we keep that up we end up with “it” the dreaded katana vs longsword debate so….NOPE!

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  11. My comment was removed. Why? Someone has no sense of humor.

    I stand by my comment. Only a profoundly unwise person would pre-order something like this without seeing a fully working prototype and demonstrated.

    And the video is definitely CGI. Which is done so well, many people would be fooled. You certainly would not be permitted to fly this in a crowed city as shown. There are laws against that.

    The only way this would not be exceptionally dangerous, if it did work, would be if it was actually AI controlled. But that would take hundreds of millions of dollars in research and development. At the very least, high tens of millions. AI programmers do not come cheap. Extreme high demand currently.

    To me the safety is not far from “Wile E. Coyote’s rocket”. And because someone was profoundly humor challenged, you will have to Google that 19 second video.

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  12. The video is not of the Raider. That picture is the first link not the second. Video is called: “Sikorsky – Boeing Future Vertical Lift: The Way Forward”

    I said at the beginning “the previous iteration”. I was just showing what the previous one looked like, so one can compare the two. And see how the new one is different. But the video looks just like the one they revealed, except that the main rotors look more conventional on the actual aircraft.

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  13. No Raider is the smaller one it has been flying for a while. Sikorsky had trouble and many delays up sizeing to the current model the Defiant. The Defient can carry 20 troops.

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  14. This one looks bigger than the previous iteration: https://www.defencetalk.com/sikorsky-unveils-s-97-raider-helicopter-60651/ Looks like the engine is much larger and the pusher has 2 more blades. Starting to look like the back end of a submarine.

    Obviously you can’t make the pusher propeller larger. So to get more power out of it they added more blades. But I think they would get more push and better efficiency with two pushers…one to the right and one to the left…still in the back. You want to keep people clear of these things. Might even try electric motors in the back. Thing is already so complex…maybe that is just crazy. Perhaps hydraulic powered?

    Here is a better video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=yuStvGT1aFA

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  15. All that tilting business gets extremely expensive. Mostly, because it weakens stuff which then needs more strength and weighs more…then the engine needs to be bigger…and stuff is now weak again…

    I would expect this to be much more cost effective…but probably slower top speed. I would expect this to reach 260-290mph while the Osprey gets to 351mph. With a duel pusher on the tail maybe 310mph.

    I think they could build these for about half the price. The engines on the V-22 are enormous, very expensive, and have a very short life which makes operating costs very high.

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  16. Consider how complex the drive train will be on these things. I assume there is only one engine.
    One rotor turning the same way as the engine output shaft, one turning the opposite direction. Presumably, the speed of overhead rotor(s) can be changed relative to each other to control yaw at hover.
    Then there’s a “PTO” for the pusher prop, the speed of which can presumably be varied WRT the overhead rotors, and/or the engine speed. Lots of high precision gears, clutches, transmissions, shafts, universal joints carrying lots of horsepower in a combat environment.

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  17. How does it compare with the Osprey? How much better would an updated Osprey, costing the same as these be?
    Unless the pusher prop can deliver enough thrust, to allow locking of the overhead rotors, rotor tip speed will still be a severe limitation. The brass probably likes this vehicle because it looks more, or less like the helicopters it’s used to. The whole tilt rotor meme throws them off.

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  18. Compared to say shooting a current generation helicopter with a RPG?

    Oh that’s right you don’t have a point.

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  19. I am a big fan of these pusher choppers. I hope they make civilian ones soon. Good chance as Boeing is involved.

    I think you can get really good range if it has a gyrocopter mode.

    I think I would have designed it with two, speed independent pushers. They would get cleaner air and have more push. Computers could also likely make it turn more quickly varying the speed/blade angle of the pushers.

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