back to article X2 supercopter in first tail-drive flight

US-based whirlybird megacorp Sikorsky announced yesterday that its "X2" high speed helicopter prototype has now made test flights using its tail propulsor. The aircraft had already flown, but only using its main rotors. The Sikorsky X2 demonstrator craft Third prop's the charm, apparently. The idea of the X2 is to achieve …


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  1. playtime

    Not the first.

    The AH-56 Cheyene was the first to use an extra prop for thrust but this did have the Retreating Blade Stall issue with a single main rotor.

    My apologies for using wikipedia ;)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Airwolf anyone?

    Jet engines on a standard chopper. And missiles. And guns.

    And don't try and tell me it was 'just a TV series' - we know different.

  3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    A Muse on White Elephant Productions and Crash Landings

    The obvious commercial question is .... Is it really needed?

    Just because one can, does not necessarily mean that one should ..... but what the hell, why not, whenever all it costs to develop and keep people employed is printed paper currency, which is easily supplied by the billions of units per hour/day for next to practically nothing. It is a trick though, which both Gnomes in Banking and Dwarves in Real Life don't like you Thinking about and Knowing, for as Henry Ford said ...... "It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning."

    However, that was then whenever it was not understood, and now it is completely different, with people and nations being a lot smarter with information and wider and deeper knowledge much more easily instantly shared for easier understanding. Which puts the banking and monetary system, and those who would doggedly defend and run it, in a very precarious and vulnerable position which is tantamount to them being personally liable and individually responsible for revolutionary action.

    Crikey, how bizarre is that .... to end up uncovering and talking about what are in Real Essence, Board Room and Virtual Armchair Terrorists from an article about helicoptering ....... although we all surely know of Helicopter Ben .......

    Fire in the Hole ....... Turing Bombes away.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Cant wait until the osprey is made even more obselete than iti s now.

  5. Danny 14


    if it can be sized up for decent payloads then commercial applications are moot. Plenty of commercial helicopter links exist and if this can be flown almost twice as fast then great.

  6. D@v3

    Either 'he' is loosing his touch....

    ..or im loosing my mind.

    amanfromMars post actually 'seemed' to make sense.

  7. Balefire

    Remember the aircraft in 6th Day?

    Now they would be kinda cool. Almost Transformeresque in the way they went from chopper to jet. Not sure how they would overcome the tendency to fall out of the sky as they transformed from one to the other, but I'm sure they could overcome that somehow.

  8. AlistairJ
    Paris Hilton

    Wot no customers?

    I'd have one, provided you can train my monkey butler to fly the damn thing.

    Paris because she has a very well trained monkey by all accounts.

  9. MG

    Propellor 2.0?

    What's all this about a "propulsor"? Surely that's just a propeller mounted in pretty much the same configuration as the Wright Bros first flight (ie rear mounted).

    Is "propulsor" a real word, or did they just make it up because "propeller 2.0" made them sound like a wanky web PR agency that didn't know what they were waffling about?

  10. Anonymous Coward

    RE: Either 'he' is loosing his touch....

    or is perhaps just an imposter - name seems to be "amanfromMars 1"

  11. James Hughes 1


    The real AManFromMars would never use the word Crikey.

  12. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Alien LogIQ ...... and Perfect Present Tense Sense for Future Applications?

    "...actually 'seemed' to make sense." ... By D@v3 Posted Friday 3rd July 2009 11:06 GMT


    Whenever the post does make sense, it would be then be a case of you seeming to understand it, which in turn would be you probably getting smarter rather than losing your mind, for I have mine under QuITe Sublime Control? *

    "or is perhaps just an imposter - name seems to be "amanfromMars 1"" .... By Anonymous Coward Posted Friday 3rd July 2009 11:54 GMT

    AC, You can blame El Reg and their recent hardware/software upgrade for that beautiful confusion. :-)

    * And only submitted as a question here for those who are lost/have lost it in AI and IT and would doubt it?

  13. NogginTheNog
    Thumb Up

    So simple

    It all seems so beautifully obvious and simple (distilling ideas that have been around for a while into a usable package) that I for one am willing it to succeed!

    And as for uses, I'm guessing the increased cruise speed may have fuel efficiency benefits that could see choppers cutting into small airplane routes, particularly if they can land some close to city centres?

  14. Rob 30
    Thumb Down

    user block?

    now we're all using unique names here can we have a setting to block certain users please?

    -my eyes just glide past anything 'written' by the unamusing mars fool, but it does take an extra click or two of the mouse wheel which would be nice to avoid.

    nice helicopter though.

  15. graeme leggett


    " fuel efficiency benefits that could see choppers cutting into small airplane routes, particularly if they can land some close to city centres?"

    You have just described the rationale for the Fairey Rotodyne. perhaps this has a chance though

  16. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    Impressive if it works.

    Note they did not push for maximum (IE equal to large HTOL prop planes) just 2x state of the art choppers.

    Simpler mechanics (no moving engine pods cross-coupled to each other), more robust structure. Better understood aerodynamics as well?

    This could have quite a market.

  17. CTR

    Even exceeding the speed abilities of tiltrotor?

    “….even exceeding the speed abilities of tiltrotor aircraft like the V-22 Osprey and the BA609.”

    “In coming months the X2, having been thoroughly shaken out and tested at lower speeds, will start working up towards its design speed of 250 knots (290 mph).”

    Please check your article’s facts;

    “The flight test program has validated the BA609 unique flight envelope including altitudes up to 25,000 feet and speeds up to 310 knots, all at the maximum weight.”

    “BA609 a/c 60001 has continued to undergo flight test activities at Bell’s Flight Research Centre, in Arlington, Texas where it has already achieved some very important testing milestones including flying at a speed of 300 knots and at altitudes up to 25,000 feet.”

    Even the BA609 Cruise speed of 275 knots is higher than the X2 design speed of 250 knots.

    The X2 will be an excellent technology to complement both conventional helicopters and tiltrotors. More costly to operate than a conventional helicopter, but better hover performance than a tiltrotor. When speed and range are necessary however, a tiltrotor will be the preferred option. The physics is basic. A tiltrotor in airplane mode directs all it’s thrust aft and lift is provided by a wing. The X2 may slow it’s rotors, but it will never be as efficient as a wing.

    Have fun,


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