As Sikorsky has developed various helicopter models over the years, so each has been given an “S” designation. Many are well known, such as the S-76 and S-92, and others which only ever existed as office drawings and did not make it to hardware. There are also likely to be numbers in the series which have been skipped, prompted by the Marketing Department.
Many of the “S numbers” are better known by other designations, such as the S-65 which everyone knows as the H-53, or its sub-models CH-53 and MH-53.
So what is the S-100? The landmark “one hundred”… We expected a fanfare!
Very recently, Sikorsky have registered the first S-100 (msn 0001) with the FAA, who have allocated the registration N100FV. FAA data shows it as having two engines and 14 seats, which fits perfectly with the joint venture Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 Defiant, which the two companies are putting forward for the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program. The specifications of the Defiant on Sikorsky’s website show “cabin for 12 combat equipped troops”, and this size of helicopter would routinely be flown by two pilots in US military service and thus the total of 14 seats.
Sikorsky have also revealed at various events that the initial prototype is due to fly in 2018 and will be powered by two trusty Honeywell T55 engines, thus confirming the two engine designation given by the FAA. While the company has acknowledged that this particular engine may make it a challenge to achieve the FVL requirement of 229 to 450 nm range with payload, the partners are looking at other future engine options which are more efficient.
Taking the first two letters of the “FVL” program name provides the confirmation that N100FV is indeed the SB>1 Defiant. The model features a co-axial rotor system and a pusher prop, a format Sikorsky developed with their X2 Demonstrator, and they carried on through the S-97 Raider which first flew on 22 May 2015.
We look forward to the S-100 making its first flight in the near future. Its competitor, the Bell V-280 Valor, first flew on 18 December 2017.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com