The U.S. Army has picked two industry teams to move forward with development of futuristic rotorcraft, signaling it plans to pursue both coaxial and tilt-rotor designs for now, the companies announced on Tuesday.
The service selected a team led by Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., part of United Technologies Corp., and Boeing Co. to build a helicopter for the first phase of the Joint Multi-Role technology demonstrator program, according to a statement. The firms partnered to develop the SB>1 Defiant, a medium-lift chopper based on Sikorsky’s X2 coaxial design and expected to fly for the first time in 2017.
The technology “will provide the best future vertical lift solution to the U.S. Army, and the flexibility of our design makes it suited for naval applications as well,” Mick Maurer, Sikorsky’s president, said in the press release. “This is a major leap forward.”
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