Maiden flight for Defiant ushers in new rotorcraft age

In a development that may prove to be the starting point of a new era in rotorcraft technology, the product of … top American Aerospace manufacturers, Lockheed Martin and its major competitor Boeing, flew for the first time. “Defiant” was designed to fly at twice the speed and have the double range of conventional helicopters, while maintaining optimal low speed and hovering capability.

“Defiant is designed to fly at nearly twice the speed and has twice the range of conventional helicopters while retaining the very best, if not better low-speed and hover performance of conventional helicopters,” says Dan Spoor, vice president, Sikorsky Future Vertical Lift.

With two coaxial main rotors and the rear propeller, Defiant has nothing to do with existing helicopters. It represents a technological leap forward to meet the expectations of the US Armed Forces in the areas of speed, reach, flexibility and survival at a reasonable cost.

Defiant uses X2 technology to allow it to penetrate deep into an Anti-Access Area Denial environment. “The design and development of Defiant has revealed the capability advancement that is truly possible for Future Vertical Lift,” said David Koopersmith, vice president and general manager of Boeing Vertical Lift.

“Clearly, the performance, speed and flexibility of Defiant will change the data in the battlefield and we expect to show the EDs its terrifying capabilities,” he said.

The development of the helicopter is part of the US Armed Forces program for a Joint Multi-Role-Medium Technology Demonstrator-for all Sectors.

Data from Defiant will help the Army develop requirements for new utility helicopters expected to enter service in the early 2030s. This flight marks a key milestone for the Sikorsky-Boeing team and is the culmination of significant design, simulation and test activity to further demonstrate the capability of the X2 Technology.