Eurocopter unveiled a compound helicopter demonstrator called the X3 (“x cubed”) designed to cruise at 220 knots–about 50 percent faster than today’s medium twins. The helicopter manufacturer believes it has found a sweet spot at a target speed that should make time savings profitable, and the technology could be incorporated into helicopters in less than a decade.
Bell Helicopter’s XworX special projects and rapid prototyping center exists to give customers added value, according to Nick Lappos, senior vice president for XworX. Lappos says XworX can “be more agile and use non-traditional methods” for things such as blueprint release and purchasing to get the job done faster.
Hughes 269B, Salesville, Ark., July 15, 2008–The board ruled that the probable cause of the helicopter crash was the pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from the crossing power transmission line. The helicopter’s rotor blades struck a high-voltage power line while on line patrol looking for vegetation encroachment. The helicopter was destroyed and the pilot and passenger were killed.
Eurocopter is working on a compound helicopter with a single main rotor, a fixed wing with two propellers in puller configuration and no tail rotor, probably in response to Sikorsky’s X2 and Bell/Agusta Aerospace’s BA609 Tiltrotor, which are attempts to create a faster rotorcraft. The Marignane, France-based helicopter manufacturer in May last year filed a patent application at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.