Hybrid Helicopter Concept
The demonstrator for the X3 high-speed, long-range hybrid helicopter recently began test flights. The vertical takeoff and landing aircraft is designed to cruise at speeds in excess of 220 knots. Two turboshaft engines power a five-blade main rotor system and two propellers installed on short-span fixed wings, which offer 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 aircraft is designed for a range of missions, including special forces operations, troop transport, combat search and rescue, medical evacuation long-distance search and rescue missions, Coast Guard duties, border patrol missions, passenger transport and intercity shuttle services. Initial testing will continue through December. After a three-month upgrade, Eurocopter-built X3 will resume flights in March with the goal of reaching sustained cruise speeds in excess of 220 knots.
Test Range Interference Detection