September 16, 2010
By Alton K. Marsh
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.’s X2 Technology demonstrator reached its goal in mid-September, a speed of 250 knots true airspeed in level flight.
The speed is an unofficial speed record for a helicopter, the company claimed in a statement. The demonstrator also reached 260 knots in a very shallow dive during the flight.
“The aerospace industry today has a new horizon,” said Sikorsky President Jeffrey P. Pino. “The X2 Technology demonstrator continues to prove its potential as a game-changer, and Sikorsky Aircraft is proud to be advancing this innovative technology and to continue our company’s pioneering legacy.”
“Our primary key performance parameter has been met,” said Jim Kagdis, program manager for Sikorsky Advanced Programs. “The 250-knot milestone was established as the goal of the demonstrator from its inception. It’s exciting to imagine how our customers will use this capability.”
The X2 Technology demonstrator is a counter-rotating coaxial rotor helicopter. The program began in 2005.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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Bell Helicopter has made the first delivery of the Bell 429WLG (wheeled landing gear) in North America.
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