By S.L. Fuller | April 12, 2017
Sikorsky and Boeing are teaming to offer a solution for the U.S. Army-led Future Vertical Lift initiative, and Lockheed Martin has posted a concept video profiling the aircraft.
Called the SB>1 Defiant, the aircraft would be a compound helicopter with coaxial rotors, and a pusher propeller derived from Sikorsky's X2 technology demonstrator. Richard Whittle spoke with Sikorsky's Doug Shidler and Boeing's Pat Donnelly about the SB>1 for an article that appeared in the October 2016 issue of R&WI:
Donnelly said the companies are building the Defiant to carry 12 troops in a cabin slightly larger than a Black Hawk’s. “We have speed projections of 250 kt, which is over the 230-kt original spec requirements,” Donnelly said. Shidler added that analysis projects the Defiant will be able to hover out of ground effect at as much as 8,000 ft on a hot day – 2,000 ft higher than the capability set 3 requirement.
The only requirement the Defiant might fail to meet, Donnelly said, is the 229 to 450 nm range with payload. “The only reason that we’re not meeting the range requirement is that we are using a pair of T-55 engines from Honeywell, and their fuel consumption is bigger than the projected fuel consumption for FVL,” said Donnelly. But he said the companies are designing a power system that can meet the range requirement using a more efficient engine.
Assembly could start in the second half of this year. The team hopes to be flying before 2018. Check out the video below to see what Sikorsky and Boeing have in mind.