US Redesigned SB-1 Defiant High-Speed Helicopter | A consortium of U.S. companies Sikorsky and Boeing made significant changes in the design of promising multi-role helicopter Sikorsky-Boeing SB-1 Defiant.
US Redesigned SB-1 Defiant High-Speed Helicopter
MilitaryEzyInfo.com – According to Breaking Defense, an updated version of the helicopter, which the developers will be offered to the U.S. Army tender FLRAA, was named Defiant-X.
According to the companies, the letter “X” in the name means a high technical readiness of the aircraft.
SB-1 has been under development since 2015. The promising helicopter is based on the developments gained during the development and testing of the demonstrators of high-speed helicopters X-2 and S-97 Raider.
The weight of the high-speed helicopter is 13.6 tons. It can reach speeds of up to 250 knots and carry 12 troops. The machine is built according to the coaxial scheme with a tail pusher propeller.
The redesigned Defiant-X helicopter has a new chassis. If previously SB-1 had three-axial landing gear with the placement of two struts in the front part and a steering rack in the tail, now the helicopter has two struts in the tail and steering – in the bow.
According to the developers, such a design solution made the machine a little heavier but will give it better stability on unpaved airfields.
The Defiant-X also received changes to the exhaust system, through which exhaust gases from turboshaft engines are removed. Visually, the machine has lost its exhaust nozzles, which were previously located under the main rotors in the tail section.
Exactly what changes were made to the exhaust system is not specified, but the developers claim that the new system will make Defiant-X less noticeable for thermal imaging devices.
Defiant-X received a sharpened nose as well as a fairing on the tail, which took the place of the former exhaust system nozzles. According to the developers’ opinion, these improvements will significantly improve the controllability and stability of the helicopter.
Finally, the helicopter will be equipped with an electric remote control system with the ability to switch the machine to unmanned mode.
Last October, the developers tested the SB-1 for the first time in flight with the engine running at two-thirds power. During the test, the helicopter flew in a straight line at a speed of 211 knots (390.7 kilometers per hour).
Later, specialists conducted another flight test of the machine, during which it reached a speed of 232 knots in descent.