Sikorsky’s Defiant Prototype Registered With FAA As ‘S-100’ Before First Flight

In preparation for first flight later this year, Sikorsky registered the SB-1 Defiant with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which gave the experimental prototype the designation S-100.

An FAA registry certificate was issued Aug. 2 for the coaxial-rotor Defiant, which is based on the smaller S-97 Raider that has already flown. Sikorsky confirmed to Defense Daily sister publication RW&I the aircraft registration was the Defiant, though it will retain the SB-1 designation in common parlance.


“Yes, the registry application for S-100 is referring to the Sikorsky-Boeing [BA] SB>1 DEFIANT,” a company spokesperson said in a statement. “Our team is following the FAA’s process for how they formally designate experimental aircraft; however, we will continue to use SB>1 DEFIANT when describing our aircraft asset.”

The FAA registry lists the S-100 as a rotorcraft driven by a turbo-shaft engine of unknown manufacture. It is also of an “unknown” classification, according to FAA records. Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. of West Palm Beach, Fla., now owned by Lockheed Martin [LMT], is the registered owner.

The FAA also issued Defiant the registration number N100FV, which mirrors the U.S. Army’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program in which the aircraft is enrolled as a technology demonstrator.

SB-1 is officially the Sikorsky-Boeing entrant for the U.S. Army’s joint multirole technology demonstration program. It’s only competitor in JMR-TD is the Bell V-280 advanced tiltrotor. The Army aims to use the data gathered in JMR-TD to inform its official requirements for the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) family of next-generation helicopters. Bell is part of Textron [TXT].

Sikorsky achieved first flight with the Defiant’s smaller but older relative, the S-97 Raider, in 2015. It built two Raiders before being acquired by Lockheed Martin,. One crashed in 2017, which grounded the program for 10 months before returning to flight in June.

Both S-97 prototypes, designated S-97A by the FAA but carrying registration numbers N971SK and N972SK, carry experimental classification.

Defiant, a third-generation X2 aircraft, is scheduled to fly in 2018 after successful completion of integration testing, ground testing, establishment of the aircraft’s do-not-exceed limits and testing of flight-critical components on the propulsion system test bed.

Both the Defiant and V-280 are aimed at satisfying the Army’s requirement under capability set-3, or “medium” variant that would be analogous to a legacy UH-60 Black Hawk. A Bell official told R&WI a broad area announcement for FVL capability set one — the armed aerial scout/attack variant — is “imminent.”

More Stories You Might Like