Sikorsky X2 Helicopter: At 288mph Is World’s Fastest

Sikorsky recently completed the first flight of their new X2 helicopter, which should herald in a new era of high-speed helicopter transportation. Once the X2 is done with testing, it will rocket through the skies at 288mph, making it the fastest helicopter ever built.

The X2 is powered by a Light Helicopter Turbine Engine Co (LHTEC) T800 engine and features fly-by-wire controls. Also included are advanced electronics that Sikorsky hopes will counter vibration problems they’ve had trouble with previously.

The ‘copter will go through a four-phase test to monitor hover performance and be pushed to its limits in high-speed flight. If everything goes well, Sikorsky plans to launch a whole family of models featuring the coaxial, compound design.

I wonder, could the speed of the X2 make it a popular alternative to commercial passenger jets? 288mph is half the cruising speed of Boeing’s 747 which would be fine for short distances, plus the advantages of avoiding airports are obvious and great. Could we be dawning on a new age of international travel that offers near door to door flights? Instead of major airport terminals, we could have Helipads scattered around our cities like widely-spaced bus stops. Okay, the economics probably wouldn’t work, but I can dream can’t I?

Sources:
Sikorsky and FlightGlobal
Via: DVICE

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Comments (10 Responses):

The bus idea would be swell if it didn’t seat 2

Hell, I could pop that thing in and out of my side yard easy enough. It would cut my commute time to band practice from an hour and a half down to 15 minutes or less. And probably cost less per mile doing so. Schweeet!

According to the remarks made by Sikorsky at Heli-Expo 08, one of the ways its being marketed is as a light combat aircraft. so, it probably won’t be cheap enough soon to be in my backyard :-/

288mph is significantly slower than the cruising speeds of twin-prop regional airliners, which can carry up to about 75 people, so I don’t think this is going to revolutionize the air transport industry.

Plus–if you leave the moon roof open you dont need aircon–look at the dual fans~~~cool–

[australian]

Looks like some real dummies flying it.

It is great technology, but being used for mass transport will have to wait for a much larger version.
Even though there are better designs than this on the drawing-board (hybrid systems with few wear/moving parts),this exists and Sikzorsky has all the connections….

this is cool as dude

Its 2010 and it still hasn’t broken any records. Its not a real helicopter anyway. Its a hovering gyro plane.

I was a military pilot,Viet Nam era, plus corporate. In contemplating this problem with blade tip reaching Mach, seems that freeing the mains while applying centerline thrust could be plausible. Gyro the main at speed, but governed to stay well below mach while being pushed with the turbine. Hydraulic governing of the main rotor could slow the main as speed increases.The new blue blades would possibly help also by forcing the tip to travel in each others vortex. Then what do I know… I’m just a pothole looking for a Muslim.

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