HELI-EXPO: R-R lifts veil on Eurocopter “X3″ high-speed prototype

The pseudo-race to develop a high-speed helicopter just got a little more interesting. My colleague John Croft, attending the Heli-Expo in Long Beach, cajoled a confirming quote from Rolls-Royce about a secretive new Eurocopter concept called the X3. [Sikorsky already grabbed X2 for its high-speed prototype. Hmm -- Anybody know who got the X1?] The UK-based engine manufacturer confirmed the RTM322 will power the Eurocopter X3, although the airframer still declines to comment on the X3′s existence.

We know almost nothing more about the Eurcopter project. But, as John reported, Eurocopter has recently applied for a patent on a heavy-lift high-speed rotorcraft design, which is shown below.


Eurocopter_highspeed.JPG





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7 Responses to HELI-EXPO: R-R lifts veil on Eurocopter “X3″ high-speed prototype

  1. rapier 23 February, 2009 at 2:59 pm #

    From the drawing it seem to be a somewhat big machine.
    A XXI Century reincarnation of the late Fairey Rotodyne ?
    http://www.flightglobal.com/airspace/photos/civilhelicoptercutaways/images/14208/fairey-rotodyne-cutaway.jpg

  2. puppethead 24 February, 2009 at 1:11 am #

    AW101 fuselage?

  3. Stephen Trimble 24 February, 2009 at 1:15 am #

    Now, that would be a great story.

  4. grand canyon helicopter tours 16 October, 2009 at 10:06 pm #

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  5. engineer 2 December, 2009 at 5:31 am #

    After researching helicopters for a paper, I have to say this is a pretty stupid idea. If the rotor blades are large enough to lift that behemoth verically, then they will also be so large that they become ineffective at traditional helicopter max speeds (~200 knots). This is due to shocks developing at the tips of the high speed blade and/or the likely stall incurred from the high angle of incidence in the slow speed blade. Furthermore, there will be a non-uniform load distribution on the wing props due to the torque produced by the main rotor. There was a reason why the rotodyne didn’t stick around long… Hopefully someone at Eurocopter has the sense to kill this before too much money is invested in it.

  6. Seb 27 September, 2010 at 7:12 pm #

    Not very innovative but maybe realistic.
    Other solutions (V22, …) seems quite complex, difficult and expensive to realise.

    My main concern is about the wing that are close to the main rotor. The effect of the main rotor will be diminished in vertical flight and the wing will receive a dissymetric downwash in high speed flight. Thus overall efficiency will be poor.

  7. Kala 20 December, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    Going to repeat what everyone else has said, thanks and wonderful article.

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