Sikorsky twirls X2 pusher prop

By John Croft

Sikorsky Aircraft reports that it has successfully ground tested the drive and pitch control for the six-bladed pusher propeller behind its high-speed X2 advancing blade concept (ABC) technology demonstrator.

The 23 January ground test follows three flight tests in which Sikorsky expanded the compound helicopter's flight envelop to 30kt forward speed with the propulsor disconnected. First flight of the LHTEC T800-801-powered helicopter occurred on 27 August.

The demonstrator will remain on the ground at Sikorsky’s Schweizer Aircraft facility in Horesheads, New York, as engineers and technicians complete the “high speed build out”, which includes integrating rotor hub fairings for the twin coaxial counter-rotating rigid main rotor blades and performing static landing gear tests, says Jim Kagdis, advanced programs manager at Sikorsky.

Once that work is completed in the spring, Kagdis says test pilots will perform high-speed flights at Schweizer before moving the aircraft to Sikorsky’s West Palm Beach, Florida facilities for the remainder of the test program. Sikorsky’s goal is to fly the X2 to its design cruise speed of 250kt by year’s end.

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