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Sikorsky-Boeing’s SB-1 Defiant has fallen months behind its scheduled first flight in the US Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstration (JMR-TD), even as Bell Helicopter’s V-280 Valor marches toward its first flight in September.
The army’s JMR-TD serves as the precursor to the service’s Future Vertical Lift competition, which will replace the UH-60 Black Hawk, AH-64 Apache and CH-47 Chinook. Sikorsky-Boeing is pushing its coaxial rotor-pusher propeller Defiant. The Valor offers a tiltrotor that resembles an improved V-22 Osprey.
The Defiant was expected to fly this fall, but Boeing has pushed first flight until early 2018. The company did not encounter a significant issue that caused the delay, says Boeing’s Defiant programme manager, Pat Donnelly.