Sikorsky Announces Hybrid-Electric VTOL Project with Tilt-Wing Configuration

Sikorsky's VTOL vision: Tilt-wing, 600kW electric motor testbed, autonomy, safety focus, 9,000lb HEX demonstrator
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  • 06:16 AM, February 28, 2024
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Sikorsky Announces Hybrid-Electric VTOL Project with Tilt-Wing Configuration
Hybrid-Electric VTOL tilt-wing aircraft illustration @LM

Lockheed Martin's subsidiary, Sikorsky, has revealed plans to develop a hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing demonstrator (HEX/VTOL) with a tilt-wing configuration.

This marks the initial step in a series of next-generation VTOL aircraft, ranging from conventional helicopters to winged configurations, featuring varying degrees of electrification and an advanced autonomy system for optionally piloted flight.

The design emphasizes autonomy and electrification, aiming to revolutionize flight safety and operational efficiency for large VTOL aircraft. The HEX program focuses on achieving a range of over 500 nautical miles at high speed, minimizing mechanical systems to reduce complexity, and lowering maintenance costs.

Sikorsky Innovations, the company's prototyping group, in collaboration with GE Aerospace, is in the final stages of designing a hybrid-electric power systems testbed equipped with a 600kW electric motor. This testbed serves as the initial phase to assess the hover performance of the subsequent HEX demonstrator—an aircraft with a maximum gross weight of 9,000 pounds, featuring a 1.2MW-class turbogenerator and associated power electronics.

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