By Staff Writer | February 1, 2008
PRODUCTS | AIRFRAMES
Sikorsky Aircraft officials in mid-January still hoped to have their X2 technology demonstrator flying and ready for display at the Heli-Expo trade show at the end of February in Houston.
That said, Sikorsky President Jeff Pino told Rotor & Wing his marching orders to the X2 team have been: "Fly when you’re ready."
Minor problems stand in the way of the first flight, Pino said. They’ve included issues with actuators and the aircraft’s gearbox that had to be resolved. Nothing in the test program to date has raised questions about the company’s design for the aircraft, which is intended to prove that an aircraft with true helicopter capabilities can cruise above 200 kt, he said.
The aircraft’s power system has been run to 85 percent, Pino said. The very rigid main rotor, on which he said "You can do chin-ups and not deflect it," had yet to be run on the prototype as of late mid-January.
Unveiled in 2005, X2’s initial goal was to fly in 2006. The company now aims to fly it by March 31. The demonstrator is being built at the HawkWorks research center at subsidiary Schweizer Aircraft in Horseheads, N.Y., in the first quarter.