Sikorsky Aircraft’s X2 technology demonstrator reached 225 knots (259 mph) in recent flight trials at the manufacturer’s Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. The mark unofficially broke the previous top speed for a helicopter, set at 216 knots (228 mph) by a Westland Lynx 800 in 1986. But the latest achievement is just another step toward the program’s goal of cruising at 250 knots (288 mph), a target Sikorsky expects to reach this fall. The manufacturer has steadily increased speed plateaus in X2 flight tests over the past few months.
Meanwhile, Sikorsky Innovations has unveiled its X2 technology light tactical helicopter (LTH) simulator. The simulator will showcase the military version of the airframe. Teresa Carleton, vice president of mission systems integration, said the simulator can be used for “various mission scenarios, and [to] demonstrate the advantages of speed, high agility, low acoustic signature and low vibrations.” (From September 2010 Rotorcraft Report)