Helicopters

[Video] SB>1 Defiant achieves record speed of 205 knots

The Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 Defiant recently achieved 205 knots, surpassing the top speed of the legendary Black Hawk.

Released on Jun 9, 2020, the interesting video in this post features the Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 Defiant helicopter continuing its test regiment and expanding the flight envelope. The Defiant in fact recently achieved 205 knots, surpassing the top speed of the legendary Black Hawk, Lockheed Martin announced in a news release.

Sikorsky Chief Test Pilot, Bill Fell remarked that this milestone is just the beginning and that the SB>1 Defiant has “got a lot more in it.” Reaching new speeds in low level flight will be key to providing the US Army the capabilities they need to dominate the multidomain battlefields of the future.  

To replace the Black Hawk, the Army’s next-generation helicopter must conduct air assaults from extremely long distances and evade enemy anti-aircraft systems. It is crucial that the aircraft can fly at the lowest possible altitude with a precise combination of speed and maneuverability. The aircraft needs to land quickly in tight landing zones under fire, deliver soldiers, and immediately depart.

The SB>1 Defiant is uniquely suited to achieve those objectives. Its revolutionary compound design leverages game-changing technologies to offer an integrated solution with increased speed, range, maneuverability and survivability to extend the warfighter’s capabilities on the modern battlefield – all while fitting in the same footprint as its Black Hawk predecessor.

Through innovative design and development activities over the course of the Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstration (JMR-TD) program, the SB>1 team has refined its understanding of the X2 Technology that can be leveraged to fill the capability needs of the Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA). With the data gained from the wind tunnel, Power System Test Bed (PSTB) and test flights, this team is ready to take the next steps in designing an affordable, survivable and sustainable FLRAA solution.

The SB>1 Defiant is specifically designed to demonstrate technology for the FLRAA mission. The helicopter’s superior handling qualities and speed allow it to safely get to the objective, perform the complex mission and depart quickly. The SB>1 team chose this configuration featuring coaxial rotors and a rear-mounted pusher propulsor for a specific reason – to achieve the common goal that they have with the U.S. Army to design the absolute best next-generation air assault aircraft.

Photo credit: Lockheed Martin

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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