Feeds

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

Actively damp chopper - a soldier's dream?

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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.

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
'Yes, yes... YES!' Philae lands on COMET 67P
Plucky probot aces landing on high-speed space rock - emotional scenes in Darmstadt
THERE it is! Philae comet lander FOUND in EXISTING Rosetta PICS
Crumb? Pixel? ALIEN? Better, it's a comet-catcher!
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rocking boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management
How using vulnerability assessments to identify exploitable weaknesses and take corrective action can reduce the risk of hackers finding your site and attacking it.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.