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SB-1 Defiant

4 Flights, 3 Hours, 20 Knots: Boeing’s Defiant Inches Ahead

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Photo courtesy Sikorsky and Boeing.

Mechanical fixes kept the SB>1 compound helicopter grounded for weeks this summer, but Sikorsky insists they can catch up.

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Raider-X: Sikorsky’s Supersized S-97 For Army Scout

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Sikorsky graphic

Sikorsky says their Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft design will fly faster, with bigger weapons, than archrival Bell’s. Bell says theirs will be cheaper and more reliable.

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V-280 Passes Key Agility Test: Bell

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Bell Flight photo

Critics have argued the tiltrotor aircraft could never be as nimble at low speed and low altitude as a helicopter. Bell says it’s proven them wrong.

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FARA: Why AVX Has A Shot At Army Scout

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


AVX graphic

Dark horse design house AVX has never built a complete aircraft. The Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft competition just might change that.

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How To Make Sure The Army’s Big Six Get Built

Posted by James Tinsley on


If the Army wants to get its Big Six right, it must talk, and talk and talk with Congress and the press and industry. And be ready to drop failures.

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Baby Steps For Defiant As Army Accelerates FVL

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


screenshot from Sikorsky-Boeing video

The Sikorsky-Boeing super-copter has just over an hour of flight time, but the Army says it has all the data it needs to accelerate the program. How?

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SB>1 Revs Up In Ground Test: Expert Expects First Flight ‘In Weeks’

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


screencap of Lockheed Martin video

“Now that they’ve completed the initial ground run, the team can finish its work to clear the aircraft for first flight,” said Mike Hirschberg, executive director of the Vertical Flight Society. “Assuming the Defiant team doesn’t find anything noteworthy from its ground testing, it should be up in the air in the next few weeks.”

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Bell V-280 Flies 322 MPH: Army Secretary Praises Program

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Bell photo

“Our new approach is really to prototype as much as we can to help us identify requirements, so our reach doesn’t exceed our grasp,” Secretary Esper said. “A good example is Future Vertical Lift: The prototyping has been exceptional.”

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SB>1 Defiant Will Be Worth The Wait: Sikorsky & Boeing

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Sikorsky-Boeing graphic

Sikorsky and Boeing are saying that their aircraft is taking longer than Bell’s because their design is more inventive — harder, riskier, and more time-consuming, yes, but ultimately better. In particular, while the SB>1 looks like it’ll be a little slower than the V-280, going by the companies’ projections for top speed, Sikorsky and Boeing say their machine will be much more maneuverable.

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Army Can Revolutionize Aviation Without Busting Budget, Leaders Say

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Bell Helicopter photo

The Army doesn’t only want much faster aircraft: It wants them to cost the same to build, operate, and maintain as its current helicopters. Otherwise it can’t fit them into an unchanging aviation budget. That’s an awfully high bar.

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