[contact-form-7 id="4940" title="Header form"]


It’s a Helicopter! It’s a Plane! It’s… the Eurocopter X3!

Written by on Friday, June 15th, 2012

I’ve written about some pretty weird aircraft, but this one may just take the cake. I mean, just look at the thing. Is it a helicopter? A plane? Evidently, it’s a bit of both. This hybrid aircraft fuses the maneuverability of a helicopter with the speed and efficiency of a propeller plane.

These strange forward-mounted motors might just make the Eurocopter X3 the next best thing in helicopter technology. It’s already surpassed its projected target of 220 kts by reaching speeds in excess of 230 kts in level flight, and it only needed to use 80% of its available power to pull it off. It’s also got impressive acceleration and deceleration capabilities, and excellent climb and descent rates to boot.The X3 just arrived in Grand Prairie, Texas and will begin a tour through the US, unabashedly showing off its quirky design.

If you’ve read this earlier article on the A160T, you should be familiar with helicopters’ shaky relationships with vibrating rotors and variable speeds. The X3 has managed to overcome these vibration hurdles without including passive or active vibration mitigation techniques, which means that it can maintain greater levels of efficiency and control without endangering the airworthiness of the helicopter.

The way that the X3 manages all this is really quite simple. The top rotor performs the same function as standard helicopters, including vertical take-offs and landings. The anti-torque tail rotor in the back of conventional valium pharmacy us helicopters does exactly what the name suggests: it prevents the ‘copter from spinning out of control the second it lifts off. By moving the anti-torque rotors to the front of the aircraft, the designers of the X3 are able to get all of the benefits of a conventional anit-torque rotor while also being able to use them for increased speed. How much faster, you ask? The X3 travels as much as 50% faster than conventional helicopters (250 mph), and at a reduced operating cost.

Lutz Bertling, the president and CEO of Eurocopter, is optimistic about the X3’s chances in the US market. He stated, “After our highly successful flight trials in Europe, the United States tour will underscore the maturity of Eurocopter’s answer for applications where mission success depends on short flight duration through maximum cruise speed at reasonable operational costs.”

The only downside is that the X3 promises to be one of the most harrowing aircraft to operate. Having a rotor spinning above a pilot’s head is unsettling enough, but having additional rotors to the pilot’s left and right will make him feel like he’s stuck between a rock and a blender.

Putting that aside, 2012 seems like the beginning of the helicopter renaissance. With the X3 reinventing the helicopter and the Hummingbird revolutionizing anti-vibration technology, who knows what the future of rotor-based aircraft will hold?


If you want advice about the world of military aviation, there’s no better people to turn to than men and women who have sat in the cockpit and flown some of the world’s most advanced aircraft. With over 50 current and ex-warfighters on call, Strike Fighter Consulting Inc. can give you access to up-to-date, first-hand technical and tactical expertise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

ourhealthissues.com mentalhealthupdate.com massagemetro.com/shop/