Eurocopter X3 Set for Public Debut at Paris Air Show

 - June 16, 2011, 8:45 AM

The Eurocopter X3 (“X cube”) compound helicopter demonstrator is to appear for the first time in public next week at the Paris Air Show. Jean-Michel Billig, the company’s executive v-p for research and development, promised late last month that F-ZXXX will impress showgoers with its maneuverability, just like the military Tiger wowed them in the 1990s when it began performing loops. “At Le Bourget, you will see a flying display no other helicopter can offer,” he told AIN. “I am not only talking about high speeds.” During the second flight-test campaign, which started in May, the X3 demonstrated a rate of climb greater than 5,000 fpm. It made turns with 80 degrees of bank angle, and reached a top speed of 232 ktas on May 12. A modified AS365 Dauphin with a conventional main rotor, two propellers on stub wings and a conventional empennage, the X3 is targeted at demonstrating that 220 knots is an economical sweet spot operationally.