Advanced Air Mobility News

Sikorsky to Shake Up eVTOL Market with HEX Prototype

Sikorsky to Shake Up eVTOL Market with HEX Prototype

Sikorsky unveiled plans to make a splash in the electric vertical-take-off-and-landing (eVTOL) industry with the production of its prototype Hybrid-Electric Demonstrator (HEX).

The HEX, a fully-autonomous hybrid uncrewed eVTOL, comes fully equipped with all the bells and whistles, and weighs in at more than 7,000 pounds. Sikorsky has its sights set on revolutionizing the industry as it aims to break the 500-nautical mile (926 km) barrier, which would put it in a league of its own. Currently, the world record for the longest eVTOL flight is 250.3 km, which was set by AutoFlight’s Gen4 Prosperity in February. Should Sikorsky’s HEX achieve its goal of 500 nautical miles, it would shatter the record by nearly four-fold.

The Lockheed Martin company also announced that it plans to use the HEX as a means to “evaluate large aircraft design, novel propulsion systems and control architectures for sustained hover.”

“As Sikorsky celebrates 100 years of flight innovations, it’s fitting to highlight our continued commitment to safe and sustainable transformative flight,” said Sikorsky President Paul Lemmo. “Sikorsky’s HEX aircraft will provide critical insights into the possibilities of electric systems in VTOL aircraft.”

Lemmo added that Sikorsky is keen to continue exploring the seemingly limitless possibilities of eVTOLs, including for military purposes and to ferry passengers between various cities.

“Ultimately, we want to show the potential of large, advanced air mobility vehicles to perform utility missions for the U.S. military and transport passengers between cities,” he said.

The HEX will be powered by GE Aerospace’s CT7 turboshaft engine and a 1MW-class generator, while it will be controlled by Sikorsky’s MATRIX™ autonomy system.

“Bringing innovative technology is a top priority for GE Aerospace,” said Amy Gowder, President and CEO of Defense & Systems at GE Aerospace. “We are committed to developing hybrid electric propulsion systems that save fuel and optimize performance for military and commercial applications. We are thrilled to build off our existing work with NASA and the Army to offer to power Sikorsky’s HEX aircraft and bolster the future of flight.”

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