Sikorsky and Boeing report progress with SB>1 Defiant

The Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 Defiant has performed a successful second test flight, the companies reported at the Army Aviation Association of America annual summit in Nashville, Tennessee, on April 15.


The Defiant, which has two coaxial main rotors and a rear-mounted pusher propulsor, performed its first flight on March 21, 2019, at Sikorsky’s facility in West Palm Beach, Florida. It flew for a second time on April 5.

“During these two initial flights Sikorsky pilot Bill Fell and Boeing pilot Frank Conway hit every test point and completed each data point we had planned to complete,” Sikorsky and Boeing stated. “The team proved out the expected speed for these tests: 10 knots forward, left, right and rearward. It also proved out hover performance maneuverability, pedal turns, and a hover ladder from ground level up to 30 feet altitude. These tests are a first step in getting to the flight envelope we hope to achieve with this groundbreaking aircraft.”

Sikorsky Boeing SB>1 Defiant helicopter in flight
Sikorsky and Boeing plan to expand the flight envelope for the SB>1 Defiant over the summer. Sikorsky and Boeing Photo

Along with the Bell V-280 Valor tiltrotor, the SB>1 Defiant is participating in the U.S. Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator program, intended to help the Army develop requirements for new utility helicopters expected to enter service in the early 2030s.

“Over the summer of 2019, we expect to expand the envelope in flight tests with additional speed and maneuverability and provide the U.S. Army with the necessary, robust, and relevant data in a timely manner that will enable them to make fully informed decisions as they pursue the Future Vertical Lift program,” Sikorsky and Boeing said.

One thought on “Sikorsky and Boeing report progress with SB>1 Defiant

  1. I don’t understand how this will replace the Apache and HueyCobra if it does not have the same agility at high speed?

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