Speed Champions: The fastest helicopters
Air transport occupies a large niche both in the armed forces and in the civilian environment. Particular attention in the development of combat helicopters is drawn to speed. Most of them are recognized as the fastest in the world.
The fastest helicopter in the world
The honor of becoming the developer of the recognized fastest helicopter in the world belongs to the American company Sikorsky Aero Engineering Corporation. $50 million was spent on the program. The first flight of the prototype Sikorsky X2 took place on August 27, 2008.
This flying machine was built on the basis of the experimental S-69 helicopter. It had a coaxial scheme with a pusher screw. Engine – turboshaft LHTEC T800. Machine control is electronic.
The demonstration flight lasted 30 minutes and revealed problems with two components: the transmission and the main gearbox. It took almost 2 years to fix the bugs. The next time the helicopter took to the air was in May 2010. The designers managed to achieve a speed of 415 km/h. But it was an unofficial record. The official one was registered in September of the same year, when the helicopter showed a speed of 460 km/h.
Over the next year, regular work was carried out on speed characteristics, but in 2011 they announced the end of the project. All the findings from the program formed the basis of the S-97 Raider military helicopter.
- Service crew – 2 pilots.
- Helicopter weight – 2404 kg, including with a crew – up to 2722 kg;
- Main rotor – 8.05 m (diameter);
- Number of screws – 4 pcs.;
- Pushing screw – 1 pc.;
- Propeller – 6-blade;
- Flight range – up to 1300 km;
- Power – 1800 hp
- The maximum speed is 460 km/h.
The experimental X2 was developed to test new technologies. After the completion of the tests, it was transferred to a permanent parking lot at the National Aerospace Museum.
TOP of the fastest helicopters in the world
Work on the creation of high-speed helicopters is underway in many countries. Basically, such helicopters are necessary for the army.
Many things are connected with maneuverability and flight speed during hostilities: the transfer of reinforcements, ammunition, food, the evacuation of the wounded, etc. For this reason, many developments enjoy the close attention of specialists. The review presents the fastest helicopters at the moment. It should be borne in mind that in a year other, faster and more modern models may appear.
The French car Eurocopter X3 is recognized as the second fastest in the world. It was designed by the Franco-German company Eurocopter. In 2000, Eurocopter became part of the EADS concern.
For the first time, a prototype of this model was presented to the world community on September 6, 2010. The helicopter developed a speed of 333 km / h. After improvements, during the next experimental tests, the helicopter reached a speed of 333 km / h. At the same time, he managed to perform complex aerobatics. Then there was a series of new improvements, and already on May 12, 2011, the helicopter set a record of 430 km / h. After some time, it was possible to develop a speed of up to 472 km/h.
The further existence of a promising project is in question. The fact is that until now it has not been possible to find an interested customer. The prototype was transferred to the Air and Space Museum in Paris.
Sikorsky S-97 Raider
This helicopter appeared thanks to X2. The developments of the experimental aircraft formed the basis of a new machine designed for the American army. The cost of such a helicopter is $15 million.
The reconnaissance helicopter made its first flight on May 22, 2015. For its maintenance, a team of pilots of two people is required. In addition to them, 6 more people can be taken on board.
- Helicopter weight – 4057 kg, with crew – up to 4990 kg;
- Main rotor – 10 m (diameter);
- Number of screws – 1 pc.;
- Propeller – 2.1 m (diameter);
- Number of screws — 1 pc.;
- Propeller – 6-blade;
- Flight range – up to 570 km;
- Power – 2600 hp
- The maximum speed is 444 km/h.
An Anglo-Italian multipurpose helicopter is used to attack enemy armored vehicles. A total of 6 prototypes were made. The first of them took off on March 21, 1971. Since then, several modifications of rotorcraft have been developed for specific needs: against tanks, attack aircraft, for escort, evacuation of the wounded, logistics, reconnaissance, rescue operations at sea and on land. In total, more than 100 cars were built.
- Helicopter weight – 2740 kg, with crew – up to 4763 kg;
- Main rotor – 12.8 m (diameter);
- Number of screws – 1 pc.;
- Flight range – up to 600 km;
- Power of the rolls-royce gem 2 theater – 900 hp;
- Quantity – 2 pcs.
The helicopter is capable of speeds up to 295 km/h. It requires 1-2 pilots to service it. In addition to them, he is able to take on board up to 8 paratroopers.
All modifications of the helicopter are completely autonomous. They can be operated at any time of the day and under any complexity of meteorological conditions. The weapons used are highly accurate due to the modern sight and the installation of radio electronics.
Attack Helicopter 64 “Apache”
The US Army is armed with a helicopter, recognized as the best in many target characteristics. He was assigned the first role in 15 other foreign armies. From the very beginning, it was designed to participate in offensive combat operations.
The first machine of the 77 modification took to the skies on September 30, 1975 under the marking YAH-64. Renamed “Apache” took off in early 1985. Since then, he took part in numerous hostilities in different countries.
The Apache has four-bladed main and tail propellers. The wing is removable. For the manufacture of the fuselage used aluminum and composite materials. The cockpit is designed for 2 pilots. Made armored and able to provide protection to a damaged car.
- 2 engines of 1552 hp;
- Maximum lifting height – 6250 m;
- Flight range – 480 km;
- Takeoff weight – 6670 kg;
- Maximum weight – 8006 kg.
The maximum speed is 309 km/h, the maximum acceleration is 365 km/h.
Civilian industry also needs to use helicopters. Where there are long distances between settlements, it is necessary to quickly deliver medical assistance. Thus, a fast aircraft can help save the life of a sick person.
Airbus Helicopters H160
The first copy was taken to the air in 2015. This is a twin-engine medium-duty vehicle. Each Arrano has 1300 horsepower. They are equipped with a compressor that can significantly reduce fuel consumption. This is possible due to the presence of adjustable blades located at the inlet. The helicopter is equipped with Helionix avionics, which helps to receive all the information necessary for the flight in time.
The luggage compartment can take up to 300 kg of cargo. The passenger cabin can accommodate from 4 to 12 passengers, which makes it comparable to a small aircraft. The helicopter is equipped with a biplane stabilizer, which can significantly reduce the noise level in the cockpit.