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Defiant makes first flight
SB>1 Defiant. © Boeing

Defiant makes first flight

The Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 made its first flight on 21st March at Sikorsky’s West Palm Beach site in Florida.

The Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 Defiant helicopter made its first flight on 21st March at Sikorsky’s West Palm Beach site in Florida.

The Defiant is destined to help inform the next generation of military helicopters as part of the U.S. Army’s Future Vertical Lift programme. It is designed to achieve nearly twice the speed and twice the range of conventional helicopters, while retaining low-speed and hover performance.

In comparison with current production rotorcraft, Defiant is distinguished by its two coaxial main rotors and rear-mounted pusher propulsor.

The helicopter is participating in the U.S. Army's Joint Multi-Role-Medium Technology Demonstrator programme. It is hoped that data from the Defiant will help the Army develop requirements for new utility helicopters expected to enter service in the early 2030s.

The X2 technology incorporated in the Defiant is designed to be scalable to a variety of military missions such as attack and assault, long-range transportation, infiltration and resupply. Defiant is the third X2-based aircraft following the original X2 technology demonstrator and the S-97 Raider.

In Europe, Airbus Helicopters is working on the Rapid And Cost-Effective Rotorcraft (Racer) high-speed concept, based on its X3 demonstrator.

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