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Defiant first flight slips

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posted on Apr, 21 2017 @ 10:32 PM
Boeing has announced that the first flight of their SB-1 Defiant, being built with Sikorsky, has slipped into 2018. Boeing insists that there isn't a problem with the program, but things just aren't coming together as expected. Boeing is still planning to acquire fuselage assemblies for more aircraft even as they test the prototype.

Meanwhile, Sikorsky is still flying the S-97 Raider demonstrator. They have flown at 150 kts without the pusher prop engaged. They're planning on a 220 kt flight in the coming quarter.

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.

posted on Apr, 22 2017 @ 05:34 AM
a reply to: Zaphod58

As 'copters move further along toward being more versatile and airplane like, what is being done to make crew survivability more equal to other aircraft given a systems failure?

All fighters have ejection seats, larger craft have other engines while helos have nothing but auto-rotation which requires quick responses and have a minimum altitude in which to be employed.

I can imagine combat helos with ejection seats that tip over to eject out to the side under the blades but that would not be a solution to a typical transport 'copter.

posted on Apr, 22 2017 @ 06:19 AM
a reply to: Aliensun

The Russians have ejection seats in at least one of their helicopters. The main rotor ejects, followed by the seats.

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