Sikorsky unveils HEX hybrid-electric VTOL aircraft program


Sikorsky, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, has announced its ambitious plan to develop, test, and fly a hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (HEX/VTOL) demonstrator featuring a tilt-wing configuration.  

Called the HEX program, it is designed to pioneer the integration of autonomy and electrification in large VTOL aircraft, catering to both commercial and military operators.  

“We never stop innovating at Sikorsky,” declared Sikorsky President Paul Lemmo. “Autonomy and electrification will bring transformational change to flight safety and operational efficiency of large VTOL aircraft.” 

The HEX program’s key aims include achieving a range exceeding 500 nautical miles (930 kilometers) at high speed, reducing mechanical complexity to lower maintenance costs, and exploring various degrees of electrification. 

In collaboration with GE Aerospace, Sikorsky is in the final stages of designing a hybrid-electric power systems testbed equipped with a 600KW electric motor. This testbed will serve as a precursor to enable evaluation of the hover performance of the subsequent HEX demonstrator, a 9,000-pound (4,000-kilogram) maximum gross weight aircraft boasting a 1.2MW-class turbogenerator and associated power electronics. 

Read more: Sikorsky-Boeing’s FLRAA design bid deemed “unacceptable”: GAO 

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