Sikorsky Test Pilot
Receives Award From Society Of Experimental Test Pilots
By Daniel Baxter
October 5, 2011 - Kevin Bredenbeck, the pilot who flew
the revolutionary X2 Technology demonstrator last year
to an unofficial speed record for conventional
helicopters, has been recognized by the Society of
Experimental Test Pilots (SETP) with the Iven C.
Kincheloe Award for the year’s outstanding professional
accomplishment in the conduct of flight testing,
“It’s hard to believe what has transpired over the last
few years, focusing on the task at hand, holding a team
together and pushing the envelope of an ‘X’ plane,”
Bredenbeck said in collecting the award.
got to lead a great team and would never have been able
to demonstrate the capabilities of this X2 technology
without them. I’m even prouder that this team delivered
to the doorstep of the future the next generation
potential for rotor winged flight.”
The Iven C. Kincheloe Award was established in 1958 in memory of Air Force Test Pilot and SETP member Iven C. Kincheloe to honor exceptional contributions to an aerospace program as a test pilot.
The award is sponsored by the Lockheed Martin Corp. The history of previous award winners includes some of the aerospace and aviation industry’s most accomplished and recognized figures in experimental and exploration flight including NASA astronauts from the Space Shuttle and Apollo space program.
Technology demonstrator has been recognized with a number of
aviation, innovation and technology accolades over the past two
years including winning the Robert J. Collier Trophy for
greatest achievement in aerospace in 2010.
addition, it was chosen by the American Helicopter Society as
the winner of the 2011 Hughes Award, given in recognition of an
outstanding improvement in fundamental helicopter technology
brought to fruition during the preceding calendar year. In April
2011, Professional Pilot magazine named X2 as the “Innovation of
The X2 also was previously named one of the Top 10 Technologies to Watch by Aviation Week (January 2010), was awarded a 2009 Breakthrough Award in Innovation from Popular Mechanics magazine, was named One of 2009’s Best Inventions by Time magazine, was identified among the “Best of What’s New” by Popular Science in 2009, and was a finalist for Aviation Week’s Laureate Award in Aerospace and Propulsion.
Sikorsky Vice President of Research & Engineering, said: “The SETP award
is appreciated by the entire Sikorsky workforce as recognition of the
great things that can be accomplished with innovative thinking,
dedication to the task at hand, and a vision that believes the tough
challenges of vertical flight are attainable.”
The X2 Technology
program began in 2005 when Sikorsky first committed resources and full
funding for the program’s development. The X2 Technology demonstrator
combines an integrated suite of technologies intended to advance the
state-of-the-art, counter-rotating coaxial rotor helicopter. It is
designed to demonstrate a helicopter can cruise comfortably at 250 knots
while retaining such desirable attributes as excellent low speed
handling, efficient hovering, and a seamless and simple transition to
Among the innovative technologies the X2 Technology demonstrator employs are:
As a “follow-on” to the successful X2 program, Sikorsky Aircraft is continuing development of the next-generation rotary wing technology by launching the S-97 RAIDER™ program. Sikorsky and select suppliers will design, build, and fly two prototype light tactical helicopters. These prototype vehicles will enable the U.S. armed forces to experience, first hand, the advanced performance capabilities X2 Technology can provide.
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