Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Somewhere, Mr. Sikorsky is Smiling

Back in January, in this post, I described an interesting visit to the Sikorsky Aircraft plant in Stratford, CT - including a discussion of the X-2 Technology demonstrator.

This experimental aircraft, equipped with coaxial rotors, a pusher prop and fly-by-wire controls, is designed to achieve 250 knots. As with most technology demonstrators, it's cobbled together with bits from old programs but it seems to be performing to expectations.

Last week (as recounted here) the aircraft surpassed the standing record speed for helicopters by achieving 225 knots in level flight. The new record is, for the time being unofficial, as all of the FAI protocols were not applied.

I suspect that Sikorsky will do a formal record run once the speed envelope is opened up to 250 knots.

So somewhere, Mr. Sikorsky is smiling. And, meanwhile, could someone explain to me again the rationale for the V-22 Osprey?

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