US: Sikorsky Aircraft and Boeing have been selected to build a helicopter for the US Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator Phase 1 programme (JMR TD), paving the way for the next generation of vertical lift aircraft. The US Army Aviation Technology Directorate (AATD) selected the Sikorsky-Boeing team to continue the development of the SB>1 Defiant, a medium-lift helicopter configured to Sikorsky’s X2™ coaxial design, through flight testing. First flight for the program is expected in 2017.
“Defiant will use Sikorsky’s proven X2 technology to overcome aircraft design challenges, which will be critical requirements on future vertical lift aircraft. The Sikorsky-Boeing team’s integrated approach has created a unique blend of expertise, innovative spirit and customer commitment that are unmatched in the industry. The complementary capabilities of each team member have delivered a design that will provide the best future vertical lift solution to the US Army, and the flexibility of our design makes it suited for naval applications as well. This is a major leap forward,” said Mick Maurer, Sikorsky President.
The Defiant aircraft will feature counter-rotating rigid main rotor blades for vertical and forward flight, a pusher propeller for high-speed acceleration and deceleration, and an advanced fly-by-wire flight control system. “Our team brings leadership and new ways of thinking to aircraft development. As the original equipment manufacturers for both the Black Hawk and Apache helicopters, we bring tremendous technological breadth and depth to the customer. I believe our technical capabilities and experience in development and flight testing of complex rotorcraft systems were a key factor in the customer’s decision,” said Shelley Lavender, president of Boeing Military Aircraft.