Sikorsky’s X2 technology demonstrator helicopter has achieved a speed milestone with two test flights involving the full engagement of a propeller for the first time.

During the tests, the aircraft flew at speeds of 52 knots in the first flight and 42 knots in the second flight with forward thrust.

The prototype is designed to achieve 250 knots speed, while retaining low-speed handling, efficient hovering and autorotation safety and a capability to transition to high speed.

The technology demonstrator integrates technologies intended to advance the counter-rotating coaxial rotor helicopter.

With its increased speed, manoeuvrability, high performance, low acoustics and low vibration, the technology will aid civilian missions including rapid air medical response.

The X2 technology will also advance reconnaissance, attack and special operations military missions.

The aircraft at Sikorsky’s New York facility will be shifted to its Florida facility before the end of July 2009 and continue test flights for achieving the 250-knot speed target.