Sikorsky announced yesterday that the third prototype of the S-76D medium-twin helicopter joined the test fleet, having made its first flight probably in July or August, AIN understands. Sikorsky had planned to reach this milestone early this year. “D3” will be used for avionics and electrical system certification.
Sikorsky’s X2 technology demonstrator, a high-speed semi-compound helicopter, flew for the last time on July 14 at the company’s West Palm Beach, Fla. test center, in front of a number of the manufacturer’s military and commercial customers. The sortie took place without the central hub fairing (also known as an “aero sail”), which will not be tested in flight.
Sikorsky flew its X2 technology demonstrator for the last time at its West Palm Beach, Fla. test center last week in front of some of the company’s military and commercial customers. Contrary to previously announced plans, the semi-compound helicopter, which features two contra-rotating main rotors and a pusher propeller, flew without its central hub fairing.
Sikorsky Innovations has completed wind-tunnel testing of an active rotor system equipped with “high-authority” flaps, paving the way for what it says will be improvements in noise, vibration–and, marginally, efficiency–on future rotorcraft.
Eurocopter has delivered what it hopes will prove to be the X-Factor to this year’s Paris Air Show. The daily flying display this week features its new its X3 (“x cubed”) compound helicopter demonstrator, a modified AS 365 Dauphin with a conventional main rotor, two propellers on wingstubs and a conventional empennage.
The Eurocopter X3 (“X cube”) compound helicopter demonstrator is to appear for the first time in public next week at the Paris Air Show. Jean-Michel Billig, the company’s executive v-p for research and development, promised late last month that F-ZXXX will impress showgoers with its maneuverability, just like the military Tiger wowed them in the 1990s when it began performing loops.
The pair of “low-observable” Sikorsky Black Hawks used in the raid by U.S. forces against terrorist Osama bin Laden’s Pakistani compound May 2 were kitted with a variety of stealth and radar-defeating features that had been in development since the 1970s, and maybe longer. The helicopters came to light after one had to be left behind and intentionally detonated after apparently clipping a compound wall and making a hard landing.
Bell Helicopter made the first flight of its OH-58 Block II demonstrator at its Xworx research and development facility in Fort Worth on April 14.
A bilateral project between NASA and German aerospace research center DLR is expected to focus on the role rotor tip vortices play in helicopter noise by recording vortex velocity fields and rotor-blade deformations by using a test stand with a variety of high-speed cameras, lasers and LEDs that will make the vortices visible. Eventually research will progress to actual helicopters.
Bell Helicopter and Van Horn Aviation (Booth No. 1521) of Tempe, Ariz., yesterday at Heli-Expo 2011 put the official stamp on an agreement that allows Bell to distribute Van Horn’s composite tail rotor blades for Bell 206 models.