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Airbus patents world’s fastest hybrid helicopter

24 May 2016

Airbus’ patented design of the X3 copter managed to reach speeds of 293mph during tests, making it the fastest non-tilt-rotor helicopter in the world.

The Eurocopter X3, the original model under development, when it set the unofficial helicopter speed record. (Credit: Airbus)

The concept is part of the Airbus Helicopters’ high speed, long range, hybrid helicopter initiative. With the new patent, Airbus can now offer a development on its original X3 design.

The design of the aircraft sees a pair of wing-mounted engines with pusher propellers in addition to the conventional main rotor. This eliminates the need for a tail rotor to counter the torque of the main rotor. The aircraft’s propellers are mounted behind the wings instead of in front, according to the patent, this reduces noise and vibrations and improves lift and passenger safety

The idea behind the design is for the aircraft to fly like a helicopter but have the ability to transform into an airplane during flight, still being able to descend vertically like a helicopter. 

Future development will see the design include turbojet engines, according to the patent authors. Yet, it is unclear whether the X3 developed design will ever see production in its current pretext. 

Video courtesy of PatentYogi.  

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