Sikorsky-Boeing team thinks X2
But don't hit play just yet. For the most part, those futuristic choppers are still months and years away from anything but the drawing board. Still, the Pentagon's plans are being set in motion, and now's as good a time as any to do some gazing at the far horizon.
There are several different projects we'll be looking at in this slideshow. A key one is the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) initiative, and its precursor, the Joint Multi-Role (JMR) Technology Demonstrator program, both led by the US Army but intended to produce rotary-winged flying machines for use across all the military branches. Just this week, the Army's Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center issued awards to four companies under the JMR TD program to get them started on refining initial designs over the next nine months, with a hoped-for first flight of demonstrator aircraft late in the Pentagon's fiscal 2017.
One of the participants in the JMR TD initiative is this helicopter design, a joint concept put forward by a Sikorsky-Boeing tag team. It's based on Sikorsky's X2 technology, which in 2010 propelled a demonstrator helicopter to 250 knots in flight -- roughly twice the average cruise speed of conventional helicopters.
October 6, 2013 7:30 AM PDT
Photo by: Sikorsky and Boeing image
| Caption by: Jonathan Skillings
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