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Defiant completes mission profile flight tests

21st January 2022 - 14:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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SB>1 Defiant is designed to deliver US Army troops and cargo at longer ranges than before. (Photo: Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky)

In recent flight tests, SB>1 Defiant exceeded the 230kt FLRAA speed requirement set by the US Army.

The SB>1 Defiant co-axial helicopter has successfully completed mission profile flight tests that it would be expected to undertake if selected as the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) for the US Army, partners Sikorsky and Boeing announced on 18 January.

‘We fully demonstrated Defiant’s ability to execute the FLRAA mission profile by flying 236 knots in level flight, then reducing thrust on the propulsor to rapidly decelerate as we approached the confined, and unimproved, landing zone,’ said Bill Fell, Defiant chief flight test pilot at Sikorsky.

He added: ‘This type of level body deceleration allowed us to maintain situational awareness and view the landing zone throughout the approach and landing without the typical nose-up helicopter deceleration.’

Sikorsky and Boeing are offering SB>1 to meet requirements set out in FLRAA, as the US Army seeks to transition from the UH-60 Black Hawk to a platform capable of delivering troops and cargo at longer ranges.

The other FLRAA competitor is the V-280 Valor tiltrotor from Bell.

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