Sikorsky Takes X2 for a Spin

 - May 22, 2008, 7:57 AM

Sikorsky continues to inch toward flying its X2 technology demonstrator coaxial-compound helicopter for the first time at its R&D and test facility in Horseheads, N.Y. Through the middle of this month, the X2 had made three separate “blades-on” ground runs, with a cumulative engine run time of 30 minutes. The ground runs are conducted with the engine on and rotors spinning. Data analyzed during the ground run includes the performance of the X2’s belly-mounted active vibration control system. James Kagdis, X2 program manager, said the ground runs will continue for another “week or two” before the aircraft is prepared for first flight. He declined to speculate on when the first flight would happen. Company officials had previously stated that they hoped to fly the X2 late last year, but subsequently backed away from that prediction. The X2, which Sikorsky unveiled in 2005, is designed to cruise at 250 knots and incorporates a suite of advanced technologies, including active vibration control, contra-rotating rigid main rotor blades, hub drag reduction and an integrated auxiliary propulsion system.