Army Gets Defiant in Search for Future Helicopter

? The Army selected a Sikorsky Aircraft-Boeing industry team to mature a medium-lift helicopter design dubbed Defiant through flight testing under the service’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator Phase 1 program, according to the companies’ release. Defiant is based on Sikorsky’s X2 coaxial design, and the companies said it “packages evolutionary technologies in a new, innovative, and affordable design that flies faster, farther, and with more payload” than current helicopters. Defiant’s first flight is expected in 2017, states the Aug. 12 release. “Defiant will use Sikorsky’s proven X2 technology to overcome aircraft design challenges, which will be critical requirements on future vertical-lift aircraft,” said Mick Maurer, Sikorsky president. Defiant will feature counter-rotating, rigid main rotor blades for vertical and forward flight, a pusher propeller for high-speed acceleration and deceleration, and an advanced fly-by-wire flight control system.