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Sikorsky to build hybrid-electric tilt-wing VTOL

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, has unveiled its plan to build, test and fly a hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing demonstrator (HEX / VTOL) with a tilt-wing configuration.

“The design is the first in a series of large, next generation VTOL aircraft — ranging from more traditional helicopters to winged configurations — which will feature varying degrees of electrification, and an advanced autonomy system for optionally piloted flight” according to the press release.

“The HEX program will put a premium on greater than 500 nautical mile range at high speed, fewer mechanical systems to reduce complexity, and lower maintenance costs.

“Sikorsky Innovations, the company’s prototyping group, and GE Aerospace are finalising designs to build a hybrid-electric power systems testbed with a 600kW electric motor. The testbed is a first step to evaluate hover performance of the follow-on HEX demonstrator — a 9,000-pound maximum gross weight aircraft with 1.2MW-class turbogenerator and associated power electronics.

“Sikorsky Innovations was formed in 2010 to overcome technological challenges to rotary wing speed, autonomy, and intelligence.”

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(Image: Sikorsky)

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