Helicopter of the future: Eurocopter X3 - Turning Up the Speed

The Eurocopter X3 is an experimental compound helicopter under development by Eurocopter. It is intended to fly at speeds of over 220 knots (250 mph; 410 km/h).
The X3 demonstrator is equipped with two turboshaft engines that power a five-blade main rotor system and two propellers installed on short-span fixed wings. This creates an advanced transportation system offering the speed of a turboprop-powered aircraft and the full hover flight capabilities of a helicopter. The concept is tailored to applications where operational costs, flight duration and mission success depend directly on the maximum cruising speed. The higher speed depends on slowing the rotor to avoid drag from the advancing blade tip, and to avoid retreating blade stall by unloading the rotor while a small wing takes up lift instead.


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