X2: First pusher prop ground runs conducted successfully
Sikorsky Aircraft achieved a major milestone in its X2 technology demonstrator programme by successfully ground testing the aircraft with the pusher propeller installed and spinning for the first time.
The test conducted on January 23 used the fly-by-wire pitch control system with the rotating, high-speed pusher propeller for the first time. The program testing has been continuing at Sikorsky's Schweizer Aircraft Corp. rapid-prototyping facility in Horseheads, since the demonstrator's first flight on Aug. 27, 2008.
"The high-speed pusher prop produced the expected amount of thrust and the testing went according to plan," said Steven Cizewski, X2 Program Manager. "In addition, the pusher prop's drive system and oil distribution system checked out well. In all, we are pleased with this milestone and look forward to finishing the tests in Elmira, N.Y., as we prepare to move the demonstrator into its next phase of testing in West Palm Beach."
Sikorsky Vice President of Research & Engineering Mark Miller said, "This ground test milestone effectively completes Phase I of the four-phase X2 technology development test program."
"We are looking forward to completing the remainder of the envelope expansion phases, and achieving 250 knots at the completion of Phase IV by the end of the year," Miller said.
The X2 technology demonstrator combines an integrated suite of technologies intended to advance the state-of-the-art, counter-rotating coaxial rotor helicopter. It is designed to demonstrate a helicopter can cruise comfortably at 250 knots, while retaining such desirable helicopter attributes as excellent low speed handling, efficient hovering and autorotation safety, and a seamless and simple transition to high speed.
Among the innovative technologies the X2 TECHNOLOGY demonstrator employs are:
• Fly-by-wire flight controls
• Counter-rotating rigid rotor blades
• Hub drag reduction
• Active vibration control
• Integrated auxiliary propulsion system
Sikorsky Aircraft announced its initiative to develop an integrated suite of technologies called X2 technology in June 2005. The project is funded solely by Sikorsky.
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