Feeds

X2 triplex super-copter to be offered as Army 'Raider' craft

Actively damp chopper - a soldier's dream?

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

US whirlycraft firm Sikorsky, having successfully flown its revolutionary (cough) X2 triplex sprint-chopper to an impressive 250 knots, says that it will now look to put the same technology into a prototype armed scouting craft aimed at the US Army. However, the company seems keen not to spend too much more of its own cash on the effort without some concrete sign of interest from the customer.

Mockup of the X2 'Raider' at a briefing. Credit: Sikorsky

I'm tellin' ya, ladies and gents - this thing goes like greased weasel shit

“Having proved the X2 Technology design to ourselves, we have full confidence we can now mature the technology for the US Army’s light armed reconnaissance helicopter,” said Sikorsky President Jeffrey Pino at a briefing yesterday. “Self-funding the design of a brand new light tactical helicopter – the Sikorsky S-97 – and manufacturing two prototypes we have designated as the Raider™ X2 helicopter will help military aviation evaluate the viability of a fast and maneuverable next generation rotorcraft for a variety of combat missions.”

It seems, however, that Sikorsky execs are hoping that the firm won't really have to self-fund the whole process of making the two Raider military demo craft - as it did with the original X2 proof-of-concept machine. Sikorsky adds that the next thing to happen will be a preliminary design review in 2011 and that "first flight, projected in four years, could depend in part on the pace of development and customer need".

The existing X2 reached its design speed of 250 knots in tests last month (see the vid on the next page) comfortably beating even the fastest normal chopper* and more than doubling the top speeds of most. Normal helicopters' speed is sharply limited by the fact that the tips of the forward-going rotor blades go supersonic as the aircraft speeds up. Their speed is also limited by the fact that backward-going blades will become stationary with respect to the air they cleave and so stop producing lift on one side of the craft.

The X2 avoids this by having two stacked contra-rotating sets of rotors, so that there are blades going forwards on both sides at any given time. The issue of supersonic blade tips is dealt with by slowing down the rotors' spin as speed increases, a thing that ordinary choppers can't do. The X2 shoves itself forward to higher speeds by the use of a pusher tail prop.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Relive the death of Earth over and over again in Extinction Game
Apocalypse now, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.