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  • Image of The New Fastest Helicopter on Earth Flies at Over 300 MPH

The New Fastest Helicopter on Earth Flies at Over 300 MPH

June 7th saw the new Eurocopter X3 set new precedents for helicopters, hitting a new cruising speed of 293 mph and topping out at 302 mph during a descent. Based on the Eurocopter EC155, the X3 is a hybrid helicopter that is outfitted with a pair of short wings with propellers in addition to its five-blade main and tail rotors. These added propellers help provide up to 80 percent of the craft’s lift and are, together with the rotors, powered by two 2270 HP Rolls-Royce Turbomeca RTM322 turboshaft engines.

Former CEO of Eurocopter Lutz Bertling anticipates the X3 seeing a future market for commuting passengers due to its speed combined with a low noise level relative to planes:

“Helicopters can fly relatively fast and the noise footprint for people living around the airport is relatively similar to current traffic noise, so vertical lift can still play a role in commuting people, providing you can design an aircraft that delivers higher speed at reasonable cost. I believe we could well see the first serial products which could do the job with a smaller number of passengers—say 19 seats—at the beginning of the 2020s, and I could imagine seeing larger aircraft with 30-40 seats in the mid-’20s.”

Date: Jun 18, 2013  /  Views: 9524  /  Author: Nate Bodansky
Category: Lifestyle  /  Tags: Automotive news, Eurocopter x3, Helicopter