SB>1 Defiant Makes First Flight


Image: Boeing

The Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 Defiant helicopter successfully completed its first flight on Thursday. The aircraft was developed by Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky in partnership with Boeing to be part of the U.S. Army’s Future Vertical Lift program. It was designed using technology developed from Sikorsky’s X2 Technology Demonstrator, which won the Collier Trophy in 2010. Features include active vibration control, a rigid rotor system, pusher prop, fly-by-wire flight controls and composite fuselage.

“Defiant is designed to fly at nearly twice the speed and has twice the range of conventional helicopters while retaining the very best, if not better, low-speed and hover performance of conventional helicopters,” said Sikorsky Vice President of Future Vertical Lift Dan Spoor. “This design provides for exceptional performance in the objective area, where potential enemy activity places a premium on maneuverability, survivability and flexibility. We are thrilled with the results of today’s flight and look forward to an exciting flight test program.”

The helicopter falls in the 30,000-pound weight class with room for a four-person crew plus cabin space for 12 combat-equipped soldiers. The Defiant is also participating in the Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator program where it is competing with Bell’s V-280 Valor tilt-rotor for a contract to replace the military’s Black Hawk helicopters. Aspreviously reported byAVweb, the Valor flew for the first time in December 2017.