X2 Sets Unofficial Rotorcraft Speed Mark

Sikorsky says its X2 Technology demonstrator aircraft has set an unofficial speed record for rotorcraft in its weight class. During a one-hour flight Monday at the company’s facility in West Palm Beach, Fla., the experimental helicopter achieved a maximum speed of 225 knots, according to Sikorsky’s release. This eclipsed the previous mark of 216 knots reached by a Westland Lynx helicopter in the mid-1980s, says Sikorsky. Both rotorcraft are in the 3,500-kilogram class. “The X2 Technology demonstrator’s latest flight is continuing to push the speed envelope, successfully flying approximately 50 knots faster than a traditional helicopter,” said Jim Kagdis, program manager for Sikorsky’s advanced programs. He said the program is proceeding on track for X2 to cruise at 250 knots later this year. Sikorsky has been pursuing the X2 program since 2005 on its own dime.