back to article X2 triplex multicopter prototype suffers gearbox snag

Chopper globocorp Sikorsky has suffered technical hitches in development of its potentially revolutionary (cough) X2 multicopter, which is intended to administer a stinging technical bitchslap to the famous V-22 "Osprey" tiltrotor from rival firm Boeing. The X2 demonstrator airborne for the first time above New York State Let's …

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Not as cool as the osprey though.

This sounds like a clever answer to the problem, and I'm sure it will perform well -- but I'm still dying to see an Osprey take off outside of a game of Half-Life. There's just something pleasing about a tilt-rotor.

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Bronze badge
Black Helicopters

Russians there first?

Don't some Russian choppers already have twin rotors in the same configuration as this?

Could not resist the black helicopter icon....

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Kamov

The Kamov design bureau has been building twin contra-rotating rotor helicopters for many years. They're ideal for naval ops, because they can be shorter than a normal helicopter, and there's less chance of the tail rotor fouling on ship structure. The Ka-25 and -27 are still in use, and they've even popped up as general utility helicopters in Africa (along with the ubiquitous conventional Mi-8).

The pinnacle of design, though, is the Ka-50/52, referred to as the Werewolf or Crocodile (NATO name is Hokum). It's a wicked-looking design, and is somewhat designed as a jetfighter-style helicopter, with a single pilot (instead of pilot/gunner). It's seen successful use in Chechnya, and if funding permits might see wider use with Russia and purchasers of Russian arms.

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Anonymous Coward

Comparing the X2 to the V-22???

LIke comparing a Model T to a Corvette, isn't it? .

The V-22 has been in development for nearly 30 years. It has a top speed of over 300 mph (not the 250 that you mention in the article) and can carry (Take off and fly in airplane mode) with a payload of nearly 30,000 lbs.

Most navy aircraft applications (that which the V22 was developed for) require two engines, a requirement that the Navy set in place.

Fantastic that the X2 can fly on one engine. So can the V22, should one engine go out...nice to have when you're over water, or anyplace else with projectiles aiming for you. This is why a majority of naval transport aircraft through out recent history have had two engines.

The X2 is a fantastic aircraft. It's getting a late start in overcoming some of the fwd speed issues that the V22 tackles, but the X2 does it differently, and will most certainly find a niche to fill. I can see the Army grabbing a hold of this one in lieu of the V22's little brother, the Bell 609.

But it has a LONG way to go before it can go head to head with the V-22 or a 609 for that matter.

I'm sure the gearbox issue will get fixed in a hurry. Not much detail in what kind of problem it is. Noting that it has flown successfully already, I have to believe that it is not a serious issue.

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Silver badge

Nitpicking

But you quote 300mph vs 250knots

250knots is about 287mph.

Osprey still faster though.

Although if the X2 gets the same 30 years of development as the V22, who knows what might result.

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Heart

stinging technical bitchslap

trademark this term ASAP.

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Anonymous Coward

Fact check: airspeed

I hope you realize that the V-22's max level flight airspeed is 270 knots, so the purported 250 knot Vh of the X-2 is not "noticeably better" than the Osprey. (Also note that the "design speed" and Vh are different quantities entirely.)

My reference on this is Wikipedia, but this info is readily available from multiple sources on the internet.

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Heart

coooool

I lke the V22 it look cool, like a VTOL SHOULD look, the X2 on the other hand is.....wierd.

Which is prob why it wil end up being the better craft.

the V22 was drawn as a fully formed idea or "look" then modified, rengineered, re- adjusted until they got it to work. (its amazingly like the original prototypes the XV series from cerca 1955)

the X2 on the other hand started with the problems, applied physics, fixed the problems THEN designed the craft.

I have to admit I love the idea of VTOLs, and having more than one "proper" VTOL will hopeully increase interest and investment.

oh yeah check out the cartercopter. looks a lot cooler then the V22

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Well

Maybe the should ask Kamov for some help?

If I remember right, nearly ALL their helicopters are stacked rotor, like this:

http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/photos/6/2/1/1332126.jpg

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Gold badge

Osprey.

There are two massive advantages to the Osprey that no pure chopper can ever compete with in level flight.

Having a chunk shot off a wing is an inconvenience. It doesn't matter how many engines you've got working if you lose a piece of rotor.

When it all goes completely pear-shaped, having a gliding angle better than that of a rucksack full of rocks is a big plus. Ok, you can autorotate a chopper to a soft landing, if you know what you're doing, but if you didn't want to land on what was directly beneath at the time you're a bit stuffed.

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Jobs Halo

Whiz bang?

Good job the X2 rotors are super rigid, the forward going rotor bending upward the trailing rotor staying strait. What happens when you hit turbulence - bang, goodnight? Not only that I really do not fancy relying on a single engine and that complex gearbox. On the other hand the V22 has taken 30 years to get into service, no one said it was easy.

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Joke

Not so impressive performance...

...expects to hit 250 knots "by the end of the year" - As '0 to 100' performances go, this one, at 10938240 seconds is pretty dismal!

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