|PHOTO BY RANDY DUFAULT
Sikorsky Innovations, the technology development arm of Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., is bringing the X2 Technology and Project Firefly demonstrators to Oshkosh for EAA AirVenture 2011.
The X2 achieved 250 knots true airspeed in level flight in 2010—an unofficial speed record for conventional helicopters for which it received the 2010 Robert J. Collier Trophy from the National Aeronautic Association.
The X2 uses a unique propulsion system of counter-rotating rigid rotor blades powered by an LHTEC T800-LHT-801 turboshaft engine. The aircraft also has an integrated rear pusher prop. The company claims success in the X2 in the program’s four performance objectives: low single-pilot workload, low vibration, low acoustic signature, and high speed.
Project Firefly is an all-electric helicopter technology demonstrator that appeared in Oshkosh last year. It’s an S-300C helicopter with a high-efficiency, 200-hp electric motor and digital controller from US Hybrid, coupled with a Gaia lithium-ion energy storage system, automated monitoring and alert technologies, and next-gen cockpit displays.
The X2 and Project Firefly will be on display during AirVenture at Sikorsky’s exhibit, located at booths 379-380 and 385-386 near ConocoPhillips Plaza. Sikorsky is part of a growing participation from the rotorcraft community in AirVenture’s new Heli Center, a dedicated pavilion for the international helicopter community established in conjunction with the Helicopter Association International.
Sergei Sikorsky, son of company founder Igor Sikorsky, is scheduled to appear and present stories of his father’s aviation successes, such as creating the first single-rotor, mass-produced helicopter. Chief pilots and engineers from the X2 and Project Firefly teams will also conduct forums.
“This is an exciting venue of aviation visionaries, thinkers, and innovators, and we look forward to sharing the latest on Sikorsky Innovations’ initiatives,” said Chris Van Buiten, director of Sikorsky Innovations.