Sikorsky's new Tilt-Wing Hybrid VTOL aircraft

Sikorsky‘s new tilt-wing hybrid VTOL aircraft promises to achieve a range of over 500 nautical miles.

Sikorsky is developing a hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (HEX/VTOL) tilt-wing demonstrator, one of a new family of hybrid rotorcraft that will use different levels of electric power and will have a smart system for flying with or without a pilot.

Sikorsky's new Tilt-Wing Hybrid VTOL aircraft

This design is just the beginning of a series of advanced VTOL aircraft that Sikorsky plans to develop. These aircraft will range from traditional helicopters to designs with wings.

The HEX program will focus on achieving a range of over 500 nautical miles at high speeds. It aims to simplify the aircraft by using fewer mechanical parts, which will reduce maintenance costs.

Sikorsky Innovations, a group within the company that works on prototypes, is collaborating with GE Aerospace to create a testbed for hybrid-electric power systems. This will have a 600KW electric motor and will help evaluate how well the aircraft can hover. It’s the first step towards building a larger HEX demonstrator, which will weigh up to 9,000 pounds and will have a powerful 1.2MW-class turbogenerator and related electronics.

Igor Cherepinsky, Sikorsky Innovations director, said:

“Within Sikorsky’s electric pillar, we are designing electric motors, power electronics and our own vehicle management hardware and actuation. HEX will integrate these components, showcase the growing maturity of our MATRIX autonomy suite, and the potential for maintenance-free systems. Seeing the results will lead us to more efficient overall designs.”

Source: Lockheed Martin