Military

Lockheed Martin's Defiant helicopter completes first endurance flight

Lockheed Martin's Defiant helicopter completes first endurance flight
The DEFIANT prototype taking off
The DEFIANT prototype taking off
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The DEFIANT prototype taking off
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The DEFIANT prototype taking off

The Lockheed Martin Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 Defiant helicopter has completed its first long-endurance flight, with the revolutionary rotorcraft this week flying 700 nautical miles (810 miles or 1,300 km) from West Palm Beach, Florida, to Nashville, Tennessee.

According to Lockheed, the purpose of the first flight of the Defiant outside of Florida was to showcase the aircraft at the US Army Aviation Association of America’s annual summit, which is a yearly meeting to discuss matters concerning military aviation.

During the flight under the control of Sikorsky test pilots Bill Fell and Boeing’s Ed Henderscheid, the Defiant used only 50 percent of its engine power and less than 50 percent of its propulsor torque that drives the aft push propeller. When in full operation, the craft can cruise at speeds of 288 mph (460 km/h), which is considerably faster than conventional helicopters.

"Defiant behaved flawlessly," said Henderscheid. "Fuel burn was at or even less than what we expected. This 700-nautical-mile trip is the culmination of three years of hard work on this program."

Source: Lockheed Martin

6 comments
6 comments
FB36
How about instead of a mechanically super complicated & so extremely expensive to build/repair/maintain helicopter, design a cheap & simple quadcopter w/ electric motors powered by a gas turbine engine? (& make the engine modular so it can be replaced w/ a battery in the future?)
claudio
And so, "revolutionary" refers to the higher speed? Is it so?
Actual question, since I'm no expert in the field
rpark
...hmmm, doesn't look 'tactical,' maybe a troop transport or flying hospital evacuation .. just faster and lower fuel consumption ?
guzmanchinky
Amazing machine. While I agree with FB36 I think the technology to convert a turbine output to electrical power isn't quite there yet in something as small as a helicopter, but maybe I'm wrong? This machine seems to function very well and I look forward to seeing one in person soon.
GraemeAlexanderPosker
Yeah, how does the whole heat dispersal of this layout work with heat-seeking missiles?, as we have seen during recent events similar Russian contra-rotating Helo's taken out, is this newer US version any better?
windykites
Contra-rotating blades don't need to have pitch-altering mechanisms. The whole thing looks very chunky, however.