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Sikorsky Launches Hybrid-Electric VTOL Program: A New Era of Flight Begins

ANAHEIM, Calif., Feb. 27, 2024 – In an electrifying announcement that’s sure to get the propellers spinning, Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin gem, has charged up the aviation world with its blueprint for a future fleet of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) crafts. This isn’t just any flight of fancy; it’s a hybrid-electric, tilt-wing demonstrator that’s leading the charge towards a greener horizon.

Dubbed as the first in a series of revolutionary VTOL aircraft, from revamped helicopters to winged wonders, Sikorsky’s latest project promises a blend of electrification with a spark of autonomy for a optionally piloted aerial adventure. Sikorsky President Paul Lemmo couldn’t contain his excitement, stating, “We’re always in the lab cooking up something at Sikorsky. Autonomy and electrification are about to flip the script on flight safety and efficiency. Our HEX demonstrator is just the appetizer for what’s to come—a smorgasbord of aircraft tailored to our customers’ wildest dreams.”

Aiming for the stars and beyond, the HEX program is set to dazzle with its ambition for a range of over 500 nautical miles at breakneck speeds, simplicity in design for fewer headaches, and a maintenance bill that won’t make you faint.

The brains behind the operation, Sikorsky Innovations, alongside GE Aerospace, are in the final stages of designing a hybrid-electric power playground featuring a 600KW electric motor to test the waters—or skies, in this case. This is but the first leap towards the HEX demonstrator, a 9,000-pound behemoth powered by a 1.2MW-class turbogenerator, ready to show off its electric moves and autonomy chops.

Igor Cherepinsky, the maestro at Sikorsky Innovations, shared, “In our electric corner, we’re piecing together motors, power electronics, and our home-brewed vehicle management goodies. HEX is our stage to showcase our Matrix autonomy suite’s evolution and our dream of maintenance-free flying. Brace yourselves for a revolution in design efficiency.”

Since its inception in 2010, Sikorsky Innovations has been on a mission to tackle the big questions in rotary wing speed, smarts, and self-reliance. With HEX, they’re not just testing waters; they’re making waves with electric propulsion, electrification, and advanced autonomy controls set to redefine the future of hybrid-electric VTOL demonstrators.

Teaming up with GE Aerospace for that extra boost, the HEX program is poised to redefine regional and inter-city travel with eco-friendly flair, promising up to 500 nm of high-speed, high-flying adventures.

Igor Cherepinsky, doubling down on the excitement, declared, “Our hybrid-electric VTOL isn’t just playing the field—it’s changing the game, ready to meet the demands of commercial and military missions head-on. Advanced Air Mobility and contested logistics, watch out!”

As Sikorsky sets its sights on the next 2-5 years, the HEX testbed and its successors are gearing up to take the world by storm, one electrically charged flight at a time. Buckle up, folks—the future of flying is about to get a whole lot brighter, and Sikorsky’s leading the way with a spark.

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