New Sikorsky helicopter demonstrated

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New Sikorsky helicopter demonstrated

Here is an interesting new helicopter from Sikorsky, pity about the quality of the image.

HORSEHEADS, N.Y., Aug. 27, 2008 – Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation today successfully completed the first flight of its X2 TECHNOLOGY™ Demonstrator, maneuvering the prototype aircraft through hover, forward flight, and a hover turn, in a test flight that lasted approximately 30 minutes.

The milestone culminated more than four years of design, development and testing of the Demonstrator aircraft’s suite of technologies that are intended to advance the state-of-the-art, counter-rotating coaxial rotor helicopter.

The X2 TECHNOLOGY Demonstrator is designed to establish that a helicopter can cruise comfortably at 250 knots, while retaining such desirable helicopter attributes as excellent low speed handling, efficient hovering, and safe autorotation, combined with a seamless and simple transition to high speed.

Demonstrator employs are:

* Fly-by-wire flight controls
* Counter-rotating, all-composite rigid rotor blades
* Hub drag reduction
* Active vibration control
* Integrated auxiliary propulsion system

new-sikorsky-helicopter.jpg - 10.66kb
By netchicken: posted on 4-9-2008

Comments on military pics note that:

The propeller at the back is only there to provide thrust. In these pictures it is not even in operation.

When landing it can be stopped or put at zero pitch (not providing any thrust). So it can back up. Sikorsky may also elect at some point to make the prop "reversible" (like a turbo prop airplane) so that it can us the thrust to reverse, although that creates some engineering and weight challenges.

The second rotor is there to allow the helicopter to fly faster than about 170 knots. Helicopters have a physics problem where the retreating blade (the one going toward the back of the aircraft as the rotor turns) cannot create enough lift to counteract the advancing blade when they are going very fast (for a helo).

By having a blade on top that is going forward you get equal lift on both sides of the helicopter and you can fly up to about 250 knots. Above 250knots you get into other aerodynamic issues with the rotor than can be equally bad.
By netchicken: posted on 4-9-2008

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