Helicopters Get Lots Faster
"The Eurocopter X3 uses a conventional rotor and two plane-like props to achieve phenomenal speed."
Wired Top Stories Download time: May 20 2011 9:10 AM ET
Eurocopter has joined the speedy-helicopter club with its X3 technology demonstrator after flying 266 mph in a recent flight test. The company calls the X3 a hybrid helicopter because it combines a traditional rotor with a pair of propellers mounted on a wing.
The fast flight comes after Eurocopter made some changes to the X3's gearbox, allowing it to use full power throughout the flight.
"The X3 handles extremely well" said company test pilot Herve Jammayrac, "demonstrating remarkable stability at high speed — even with the autopilot off."
Eurocopter has been testing the handling characteristics and stability of the X3 and will continue to expand the flight envelope during 2011.…
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